Like James Franklin when he recruited a kid out of Whitehall (Pa.) High, Saquon Barkley has good taste in running backs.
Barkley hits the NFL Combine this weekend with arguably more buzz than any other draft hopeful. His first media session was a zoo, but the All-American back is used to the spotlight by now. Barkley fielded a variety of questions on specific teams and goals, but gave fans a peek behind the curtain of how he approached the position as a kid.
Asked about who he modeled his game after, Barkley cited Barry Sanders.
“Obviously I was only alive for his last two years. But Barry Sanders. With technology today and Youtube and highlight videos and stuff like that, at a young age I was able to see the things he was able to do on a football field. He was spectacular. He was an awesome runner. He was a guy I looked up to growing up, not only on the field, but off the field. The way he carried himself. He was humble. When he scored a touchdown he gave the ball to the ref. You look at his Football Life, he was carrying cups to his offensive linemen. I think that’s what a running back should be about. I think that’s what our position should be about. I try to model myself after that. People in the game today, I’ve never wanted to be like anybody. That’s something my dad taught me growing up. Never want to be like someone. Be the next you. But I am a fan of the game. I am a fan of the position. I watch everyone. I try to take pieces of people’s games and add them to mine and be the most complete back I can possibly be.”
Barkley finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting this season after 1,903 yards from scrimmage and 21 touchdowns for Penn State. He is consistently a top name in mock drafts and begins Combine work Friday afternoon.
Source: Sam Hellman | 247 Sports