Every week, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley did something dazzling and humiliates a new would-be tackler in college. It’s high time we catalogue every highlight play in one place, then update it each week. That place is here.
All the work paid off, and Barkley was selected No. 2 in the 2018 NFL Draft. But it wasn’t the real highlight of his week.
Barkley became a new dad just days before realizing his NFL dreams.
But in his final season at Penn State, he was dazzling.
Game 13, vs. Washington
Barkley didn’t skip the Fiesta Bowl, he played in what ESPN’s announcers called a “limited role.” He made the most of it though with this 92-yard TD run. It’s the longest run in Fiesta Bowl history.
Game 11, vs. Nebraska
Game 8, vs. Ohio State
Game 7, vs. Michigan
Direct snap, second play of the game against one of the best defenses in the country. As cool as you like.
Also, the bobbling touchdown that all but officially put away the Wolverines:
Saquon juggles the for the touchdown! pic.twitter.com/zGmUohi47u— CFB Gif'er (@CFBgifer) October 22, 2017
Game 6, vs. Northwestern
For the second week in a row, he was largely bottled up from scrimmage, until:
Game 5, vs. Indiana
He ran back the opening kickoff.
Here's Saquon Barkley reminding you on the first play of the game that he's already locked up the Heisman pic.twitter.com/JSvHAENbJb— Barstool Penn State (@PSUBarstool) September 30, 2017
Later in the first half, he turned a near-incompletion into a 36-yard gain.
For good measure, he’s throwing TDs now. Somewhere around here, he became the clear winner of the made-up September Heisman.
Game 4, vs. Iowa
The hurdle (this is a consistent theme with Barkley) ...
... as is devastating acceleration ...
... and a lovely hesitation move.
It was all en route to a program-record night, with over 300 yards.
Game 3, vs. Georgia State
Game 2, vs. Pitt
He’s just so fast.
Game 1, vs. Akron
He got the season off to a nice start.
But let’s go back to the beginning of his big-time football career.
When the RB was at Whitehall High School in Pennsylvania, Barkley’s father says James Franklin told him that Saquon would have to earn his playing time.
"[Franklin] always told us, 'He's not going to play,'" Alibay Barkley said. "He said, 'I'm just letting you know, so don't call me asking why my son isn't getting time. But if he does what he's got to do on the field, I'll make sure he gets the best opportunity he can.' And Coach Franklin was a man of his word."
The dynamo was at one point committed to Rutgers (yes, that Rutgers). His high school tape showcases an absolute banger. The spin and shed:
The patience and stutter step:
His sophomore year is probably when you first heard of him.
Game 1, vs. Kent State
Because he was doing stuff like this, turning a certain loss into a gain.
Game 2, vs. Pitt
He had a nice dive over the pile and showcased his speed as well.
Game 3, vs. Temple
Hit a back-breaking juke move against the Nittany Lions’ other in-state rival.
Game 5, vs. Minnesota
Walk-off hurdle TD.
Game 6, vs. Maryland
Again, he basically just hurdles people for fun ...
... and outruns Maryland’s whole defense.
Game 8, vs. Purdue
This is a long run where it seems like he’s very aware he’s being chased by large men who wish to do him harm.
Game 9, vs. Iowa
A frantic, stiff-arming dash to the end zone.
Underthrown ball that makes Barkley have to turn 180 degrees. No problem; he’s still fast enough to make the turn and high-step into the end zone after burning the Hawkeyes on a wheel route.
Game 12, vs. Wisconsin
Come for the gorgeous wheel route, stay for the leap onto the end zone wall that proved his knee was not gimpy after tweaking it against Michigan State.
Game 13, the Rose Bowl vs. USC
Why jump cut once when you can do so twice?
It’s much better from the reverse angle, too.
But of course, there were flashes in his freshman year.
Game 2, vs. Buffalo
The first time he got more than one carry, he showcased his athleticism with the first of many hurdling runs.
Game 4, vs. San Diego State
A devastating spin move, along with various other highlights all in one play.
Game 5, vs. Ohio State
I like to think he did this freeze-and-hurdle combo just because he could.
Game 7, vs. Illinois
Game 8, vs. Northwestern
Burst and change of direction up the middle out of the wildcat.
Game 9, vs. Michigan State
He literally drags a Michigan State defender like four yards.
Oh, and here’s a nice catalogue of him doing wild stuff in the weight room.
This includes him breaking the school record for power cleans.
All those workouts come into play when it comes to Barkley’s most notable highlight move: the hurdle. He talked about it.
Here are other football people just gushing over him.
Even Jim Harbaugh: