While running backs are probably the most versatile players in football, they are almost always limited in some way. Usually they are either strong and powerful, but not necessarily the quickest or the fastest, or vice versa. LeGarrette Blount is an example of a power back who lacks quickness. LeSean McCoy is a back with extraordinary speed and quickness who lacks power. Other RBs are well rounded—doing everything well, but not excelling at any one aspect. For texample, Kareem Hunt or Jordan Howard. Then there are the truly exceptional ones who seemingly do everything at an elite level. Currently, I would put Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson, and Ezekiel Elliott in this category. But I believe Saquon Barkley is the next in line.
Barkley is one of the most talented players I’ve ever seen. His combination of strength and speed is mind-blowing. He set Penn State’s football power clean record by lifting 405 pounds. He also bench pressed 225 pounds for 30 reps. That is insane, especially for an RB. He also has blazing speed, running a 4.33 40. Most times he will be the strongest and fastest player on the field.
The 5’ 11”, 229 pound Barkley is certainly a prolific runner. In about two and a half years at Penn State, he has racked up 3,329 yards and 33 touchdowns. In last season’s Rose Bowl, he had 194 yards and two TDs. On the biggest stage, he put on a terrific performance.
His skills do not end with running the ball. He’s a phenomenal receiver, accumulating a shade over 1,000 yards and 8 TDs in his career. He is the Nittany Lions’ second leading receiver this season, too.
After Penn State’s 42-13 drubbing of Michigan on Saturday, Barkley has cemented himself as the front runner for the Heisman trophy. In that game, he had 108 yards and two TDs on the ground, and one receiving TD. And considering Michigan’s top-notch defense, this makes Barkley’s performance that much more impressive.
I’m convinced Saquon Barkley will win the Heisman, and then go on to dominate at the next level. Young RBs have taken the NFL by storm recently, and Barkley is the next great one.