|No. 26 – New York Giants|
|Born:||February 9, 1997|
Bronx, New York
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||232 lb (105 kg)|
|High school:||Whitehall (Whitehall, Pennsylvania)|
|College:||Penn State (2015–2017)|
|NFL Draft:||2018 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 18, 2021|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
Saquon Barkley (// SAY-kwon; born February 9, 1997) is an American football running back for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Penn State for three seasons.
He totaled 5,557 all-purpose yards in his three-year collegiate career. Barkley received national attention and finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting with 304 total votes and third in Maxwell Award voting. He also received multiple national and Big Ten Conference awards and recognition. During Barkley's three-year collegiate career, he broke and set numerous Penn State records including most rushing touchdowns in a career, most rushing yards by a freshman and sophomore as well as most total yards in a single game. Barkley was selected second overall by the Giants in the 2018 NFL Draft.
As a rookie, Barkley set numerous league and franchise records en route to a 1,300+ yard rushing season. He was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and earned a Pro Bowl nod. Barkley would be plagued by injuries during the next two years, with him missing the majority of the 2020 season due to an ACL tear in Week 2 against the Chicago Bears.
Barkley was born in the Bronx, New York. He grew up a New York Jets fan idolizing running back Curtis Martin. Athleticism ran in the Barkley family. Barkley's father, Alibay, was a talented boxer, his brother, Alibay Jr., was a star baseball player at George Washington High School in New York City who went on to get drafted by the Los Angeles Angels, and his uncle, Iran Barkley, was a professional boxer. Barkley and his family moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in search of a safer and more suburban environment in his youth. Barkley attended Whitehall High School in Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania, which competes in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
At Whitehall, Barkley rushed for 3,646 yards with 63 touchdowns from his sophomore to senior year, including 1,856 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior. Barkley was rated as a four-star recruit and committed to Penn State to play college football. He originally committed to Rutgers before changing to Penn State.
Apart from football, Barkley also lettered in basketball and track and field at Whitehall. As a senior in 2015, he won gold medals in the 100-meter dash (11.15 seconds) at the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference championships and the long jump (22'2.5" or 6.77m) at the District 11 meet, where he also earned a second-place finish in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.90 seconds which set the school's record. Later in the season, Barkley set personal-best marks of 46'2.5" (14.08m) in the shot put and 6'0" (1.83m) in the high jump.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||40‡||Commit date|
|Coplay, PA||Whitehall HS||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)||233 lb (106 kg)||4.66||Feb 19, 2014|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout:|
|Overall recruiting rankings:|
Barkley earned immediate playing time as a true freshman at Penn State in 2015. After rushing for one yard on one carry during his first game, he rushed for 115 yards with a touchdown in his second game. He followed up that performance by rushing for 195 yards and 2 touchdowns on 21 carries in his third game. In October, he missed two games due to injury. In his first game back against No. 1 Ohio State, he rushed for 194 yards on 26 carries. During his first year, Barkley had 182 carries for 1,076 yards and seven touchdowns during the 2015 Penn State football season campaign.
During the offseason, Barkley received large amounts of praise for his excellent first year. He was awarded second-team All-Big Ten (getting votes for the first team) and BTN.com Freshman of the Year.
In the first game of his sophomore campaign, Barkley rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown in a 33–13 win over Kent State. In week two, in a renewed rivalry game against Pitt, Penn State trailed at one point in the second quarter 28–7. Barkley scored five touchdowns, his fifth coming with 5:00 left in the fourth quarter, to bring the Nittany Lions within three points. However, quarterback Trace McSorley threw an interception in the Pitt end zone with 1:41 left, that denied the Nittany Lions' hopes of completing the comeback. In week five against Minnesota, in what would become a recurring theme for the 2016 Penn State football team, Penn State had to come back from another halftime deficit. In overtime, on Penn State's first play, Barkley ended the game with a 25-yard touchdown run. Before that carry, Minnesota had held him to only 38 yards on 19 carries. In week six against Maryland, Barkley had his first ever 200-yard rushing game in college. He finished with 31 carries for 202 yards and one touchdown. In week seven, in a matchup versus Ohio State, Barkley rushed for 99 yards on 12 carries with a long of 37 in a 24–21 win over the no. 2 Buckeyes. In week eight, Barkley and no. 24 Penn State scored a season high 62 points versus Purdue. Barkley achieved a career-high 207 rushing yards with a career-high long of 81 yards and two touchdowns, along with 70 yards of receiving, giving him a total of 277 yards on the day. Penn State defeated Purdue 62–24 and improved to 6–2 and 4–1 in Big Ten play.
On November 1, 2016, Barkley was named a semi-finalist for the Maxwell Award. On November 5, Barkley rushed for 167 yards and one touchdown versus Iowa. He added 44 yards and another touchdown in the air, for a total of 211 all-purpose yards in the 41–14 win.
After the regular season, Barkley was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Ameche–Dayne Running Back of the Year and First Team All-Big Ten.
On December 3, 2016, Barkley had 19 carries for 83 yards, rushed for one touchdown, and caught another touchdown on a wheel route. His efforts helped Penn State recover from a 28–7 deficit to stun Wisconsin, 38–31, in the 2016 Big Ten Championship Game.
During the 2017 Rose Bowl, Barkley added 25 carries for 194 yards, at 7.8 yards per carry, as well as a 79-yard touchdown that gave Penn State a 28–27 lead. After trailing 13–0, Penn State scored seven touchdowns on seven consecutive possessions, including four touchdowns on four consecutive offensive plays, including Barkley's 79-yard touchdown. Barkley would score the first, fourth, and seventh touchdowns for Penn State, giving the Nittany Lions a 49–35 lead in the fourth quarter, but ultimately USC won the game, 52–49.
Barkley set the Penn State record for rushing yards in a season by a freshman (1,076) and by a sophomore (1,496).
In the first game of the season against the Akron Zips, Barkley ran 14 times for 172 yards, two rushing touchdowns, and a long run of 80 yards. He also caught two passes for 54 receiving yards. For his efforts, Barkley was named co-Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.
In the 2017 Big Ten opener, the Nittany Lions visited the Iowa Hawkeyes. In the 21–19 win, Barkley recorded 358 all-purpose yards. He also set a program record for the most all-purpose yards in a single game, recording 211 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, 94 receiving yards, and 53 kick return yards. For his efforts, Barkley was again named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.
In the first Big Ten home game of his junior campaign against the Indiana Hoosiers, Barkley carried the ball 20 times for just 56 yards, an underwhelming rushing day for him. Despite this, he still had a major impact on the game, returning the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown, catching four passes for 52 yards, and throwing a 16-yard pass to receiver DaeSean Hamilton late in the fourth quarter to cap off a 45–14 win. This made Barkley the first player in Big Ten history to record a return and passing touchdown in the same game. For his efforts, Barkley was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week. One month later against Ohio State, Barkley again returned the opening kickoff back 97 yards for a touchdown, but was limited for the rest of the game recording 44 rushing yards on 21 carries, 36 of which came on a touchdown run in the second quarter. In his final collegiate game, Barkley rushed for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns, one of them a 92-yard effort to put Penn State up 28–7 over the Washington Huskies in the 2017 Fiesta Bowl. Penn State would go on to win the game 35–28. On December 31, 2017, about one day after the team's Fiesta Bowl victory, Barkley declared his intentions to enter the 2018 NFL Draft.
On December 31, 2017, Barkley, who was a projected top 10 pick by many, declared his intentions to enter the 2018 NFL Draft. In the weeks leading up to the NFL Combine, Barkley's stock rose even higher. By late February, mock drafts projected him as the second pick selection overall, the highest for a running back since Reggie Bush in 2006. Mel Kiper Jr., who has history of being against drafting running backs in the first round, said "Barkley is a once in a lifetime talent, teams that pass on this young man will be sorry." At the combine, Barkley had a widely praised performance, running a 4.40 sec 40-yard dash and pressing 225 pounds for 29 reps, tying for the most reps at the running back position. According to Ian Rapoport, the Cleveland Browns were "strongly considering" drafting Barkley first overall, which would have made him the first running back since Ki-Jana Carter in 1995 to go first overall.
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand span||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Vertical jump||Bench press|
|6 ft 0 in
|4.40 s||1.54 s||2.57 s||4.24 s||41 in
|All values from NFL Combine. on YouTube|
Barkley was selected by the New York Giants second overall in the draft. On July 22, 2018, Barkley signed his four-year rookie contract, worth $31.2 million fully guaranteed.
Barkley scored his first NFL touchdown, a 68-yard rush, in the season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Overall, he had 106 rushing yards and a touchdown in the 20–15 loss. The following week, in a 20–13 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Barkley set a Giants' franchise record for catches in a game, with 14. He also tied the NFL single game record for catches by a rookie. In Week 3, a 27–22 victory over the Houston Texans, he recorded 82 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, and five receptions for 35 receiving yards. The following week, in a loss to the New Orleans Saints, he recorded another game with 100 scrimmage yards with 44 rushing yards and 56 receiving yards to go along with a rushing touchdown. In Week 5, against the Carolina Panthers, he recorded four receptions for 81 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns to go along with 48 rushing yards in the 33–31 loss. During Thursday Night Football against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6, Barkley finished with 130 rushing yards, including a 50-yard touchdown, along with 99 receiving yards, totaling 229 all-purpose yards as the Giants lost 34–13. In Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Barkley rushed for a career-high 142 yards and scored 3 touchdowns as the Giants won 38–35, and for his efforts he was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week. In Week 12's 25–22 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Barkley rushed for 101 yards and scored a 51-yard touchdown, becoming the first player since John Fuqua in 1970 to rush for two 50-plus yard touchdowns against the Eagles in a single season. In Week 13 against the Chicago Bears, Barkley had 125 rushing yards and three receptions for 21 yards in the 30–27 overtime win.
During Week 14, in the Giants' 40–16 win over the Washington Redskins, Barkley rushed for 170 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown, becoming the first Giants' rookie to surpass 1,000 rushing yards, and setting a franchise single-season record for rookies with 15 touchdowns. In the regular season finale against the Dallas Cowboys, he had 17 carries for 109 yards, his seventh game with over 100 rushing yards on the season, and a touchdown in the 36–35 loss. In recognition of his phenomenal, record-breaking rookie season, Barkley was elected to the 2019 Pro Bowl, where he helped the NFC win the Skills Showdown.
Barkley received numerous award during and after his rookie season including; Pepsi Rookie of the Year, FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year, AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team and AP All-Rookie teams.
After a successful rookie campaign, Barkley was ranked No. 16 on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2019. Barkley was chosen by his teammates as one of the seven team captains for the 2019 season, an honor rarely bestowed on players after only one year on the team. In Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys, Barkley rushed 11 times for 120 yards, including a 59-yard run, in the 35–17 loss. In this game, he fumbled the ball for the first time in his NFL career. In Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills, Barkley rushed 18 times for 107 yards and a touchdown, and also caught three passes for 28 yards in the 28–14 loss. In Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Barkley suffered a high ankle sprain and was expected to miss four to eight weeks. Barkley made his return from injury in Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals. In the game, Barkley rushed 18 times for 72 yards and a touchdown in the 27–21 loss. In Week 8 against the Detroit Lions, Barkley rushed a season-high 19 times for 64 yards and caught a season-high eight passes for 79 yards and a touchdown in the 31–26 loss. In Week 15 against the Miami Dolphins, Barkley rushed 24 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns and caught four passes for 31 yards in the 36–20 win. In Week 16, Barkley rushed for a career high 189 yards on 22 carries and caught four passes for 90 yards and two total touchdowns in a 41–35 win over the Washington Redskins. He won the NFC Offensive Player of the Week award for his performance in Week 16. In Week 17 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Barkley rushed 17 times for 92 yards, including a season-long 68-yard run which resulted in a touchdown, during the 34–17 loss. Barkley finished his sophomore campaign as the only running back in Giants' history to have 1,000 rushing yards in their first two seasons.
In Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football, Barkley rushed 15 times for six rushing yards and caught six passes for 60 receiving yards during the 26–16 loss. Barkley's 0.4 yards per attempt was a career low. During the following week's 17–13 loss to the Chicago Bears, Barkley was carted off the field after suffering a knee injury and was later confirmed to have a torn ACL the next day, ending his season. He was placed on injured reserve on September 22, 2020.
On April 28, 2021, the Giants picked up the fifth-year option on Barkley's contract, worth a guaranteed $7.217 million for the 2022 season. On week 5 against the Dallas Cowboys, Barkley's foot landed on Jourdan Lewis and his ankle rolled. On November 3, 2021, the New York Giants announced that Barkley was in the COVID protocol.
Barkley is the son of Alibay Barkley and Tonya Johnson. He has three brothers and two sisters. His great uncle is former WBC middleweight champion Iran Barkley. Barkley has a daughter.
In 2018, the Government of Pennsylvania voted in favor of making March 14 a state holiday known as "Saquon Barkley Day". Barkley and his family participated in a parade through his hometown of Coplay, Pennsylvania that included the Whitehall High School marching band and kids from the league where Barkley played youth football.
Barkley is a Christian.