Running back Saquon Barkley doesn’t work out at Penn State’s Pro Day
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Saquon Barkley didn’t work out at Penn State’s pro day after learning that no NFL running backs coaches would be in attendance, but the former Nittany Lions star will soon begin team visits.
Barkley had planned to participate in workouts for pro personnel on Tuesday but, like Penn State’s other participants at the NFL scouting combine, was not going to go through testing again.
“I woke up this morning and that was the game plan,” Barkley said, “but then when I realized there wasn’t a running backs coach here, I figured there was no point for me to run routes or do drills.”
Barkley added that he will likely just visit with NFL teams and might do “one or two” workouts, depending on advice he receives from his “team.”
“I’m over this stage, running in shorts and sweatshirts,” Barkley said. “That’s cool and all, but I’m not a combine guy. I want you to throw on the film and I want to show that I’m a football player.”
Barkley’s testing numbers at the NFL combine drew strong praise, but he said they didn’t meet his expectations. The All-America running back clocked a 4.4 flat in the 40-yard dash, a 41-inch vertical leap and 29 bench press repetitions at 225 pounds. Penn State head coach James Franklin told ESPN.com on Monday that Barkley’s combine performance was “very average,” compared to what he did at Penn State. Barkley rushed for 3,843 yards and 43 touchdowns, and he caught 102 passes for 1,195 yards at Penn State.
“I would agree with [Franklin], I would say it wasn’t my best, I feel like I could have done a lot better,” Barkley said. “But I’m not going to sit here and complain because a lot of guys wish they could have had the same numbers that I had that day, the performance I had that day. I was really happy with the off-field stuff, the interviews, and I think I did really well in the drills with catching the ball, running and looking smooth and fluid.”
Barkley called himself a “legit 4.3 guy” in the 40-yard dash and clocked a 4.29 during training. He has had a 42-inch vertical leap and typically records 30-35 repetitions on the bench press.
Barkley will be in Dallas for draft on April 26 after initially planning to stay home in Pennsylvania. He’s looking forward to the draft and also to the birth of his first child. On Saturday, Barkley’s girlfriend, Anna Congdon, announced on Instagram that she and Barkley are expecting a child next month.
“The baby’s due April 14, not sure the gender, that’s going to be a surprise,” Barkley said. “April’s going to be a big month for me. I tweeted out the other day a big blessing’s coming my way. A lot of people thought I was just talking about the draft. I was talking about my future kid.
“I’m excited. Some people aren’t even blessed with the opportunity to have kids, and I’m able to have one. I’m truly excited to be a father.”
Next month my whole life changes!!! Blessings on blessings ❤️🙌🏾
— Saquon Barkley (@saquon) March 14, 2018
Barkley said he would welcome a visit to the Cleveland Browns, who hold the No. 1 pick in April’s draft. He met with the Browns and New York Giants, among other teams, for informal interviews at the NFL combine.
“The draft is unpredictable, as you guys know,” Barkley said. “Whatever team drafts me, I’ll be truly excited. It’s an honor. I don’t think about getting my name called No. 1. I just think about getting my name called, period. That’s a moment that you think about for the rest of your life. Whether you play two years or 12 years in the league, no one can take that from you.”