Coronavirus ruined Saquon Barkley’s back-to-school plans.
Barkley, entering his third season with the New York Giants, had plans to head back to his alma mater, Penn State, during spring practice to serve as a guest coach. Those plans were dashed when the coronavirus pandemic struck and caused PSU — and every other college football program — to cancel its spring practices.
Penn State head coach James Franklin explained the star running back’s plan to the New York Post:
“Saquon reached out to me and his plan was to come and spend spring ball with us as a coach,” Franklin said. “He wanted to sit in all of the coaches meetings to see how we came up with the game plan, how we watch film and all the things we discuss.
“He wanted to be able to learn football and view it through a different lens because he thought that would help his growth, and he’d be able to go back and have a bigger impact with the Giants. He could see how coaches assess things and why.”
Barkley rushed for more than 1,000 yards in all three of his seasons at Penn State, amassing 3,843 yards and 43 touchdowns in all. He also combined for 102 receptions for 1,195 yards and eight touchdowns and returned two kickoffs for TDs during his time at Penn State, helping the Nittany Lions win the Big Ten title in 2016.
From there, Barkley was chosen No. 2 overall by the Giants in the 2018 NFL draft. He has lived up to his draft billing thus far with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
Barkley already has plenty of individual accolades — Rookie of the Year, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Pro Bowl — under his belt, but the Giants have just a 9-23 record over his two years with the franchise. The Giants will look to turn things around in 2020 with new head coach Joe Judge. With Barkley and second-year quarterback Daniel Jones, the team’s 2019 first-round pick, Giants fans hope the team has two young players to build around.
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