By Gabby Goodwin || Sports Editor
From a first-year at Whitehall High to a first-year at Penn State in 2015 to a “first-year” in one of the NFL’s highest-profile locker rooms, Saquon Barkley has always made it a point to start conversations; endear everyone with his intensity, his humility, and his desire to learn and ask questions.
During the first week of training camp with the New York Giants, Barkley made it a point to talk to everyone on the offensive line. He suggested dinner with them. He asked for their advice.
As the Giants’ first round draft pick in April, Barkley was brought in to help transform the 3-13 NFC East contender that was the New York Giants last season. When Barkley took his first NFL carry 39 yards against the Cleveland Browns, Quarterback Eli Manning tried to subdue expectations–”Just a run,” he said. “Let’s not go berserk.” Unfortunately, however, Eli’s attempt didn’t work. Since, Barkley’s jersey has become one of the NFL’s best-sellers, according to Dick’s Sporting Goods, and he has become, what we’ve all realized, the essential component missing from the Giants’ offense.
According to Giants owner John Mara, Barkley “adds a different dimension that maybe we haven’t had in our offense in quite some time” (mcall.com).
With a hamstring pull late training camp this past year, Barkley was committed to staying engaged in practice by taking “mental reps.”
“It obviously shows that he’s watching practice,” Manning said. “He’s listening to the game plan and he wants to understand what his route would be on this concept or on this check. It shows that he is engaged” (mcall.com).
Chasing some elite backs on the NFL’s rookie rushing list, such as Eric Dickerson (1,808 yards, LA Rams, 1983) and Ezekiel Elliott (1,631 yards, Dallas Cowboys, 2016), we are excited to see what is in store for Barkley this season. The Giants face-off against the Panthers this upcoming Sunday at 1:00 PM.
Junior Gabby Goodwin is the Sports Editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.