COPLAY, Pa. — There’s sure to be millions of dollars coming Saquon Barkley’s way as the former Penn State standout readies for the 2018 NFL Draft, but that won’t change Barkley’s desire to one day complete his undergraduate degree.
“I want to graduate with my class. That would be awesome for me. Is that likely? Probably not, because I’m a rookie and I need to experience my first NFL season, so I won’t be taking classes,” he said. “If I took classes my rookie year, I’d probably be able to do that. But I’ll probably back away from that because I want some success [on the field]. But spring 2019, fall 2020, around there.”
Barkley, who is enrolled in Penn State’s journalism program, said he is taking two online classes this spring. While fitting course work in between around-the-clock training, meeting with teams and media obligations can’t be easy, Barkley said he still has about 14 more credits needed to obtain his degree.
“The great thing about Penn State is that it’s a world campus and all the classes that are required can be taken online,” he said. “I’m not that far off and I look forward to that day. That’s going to be another special moment for me and my mother, when I go up there and get my college degree.”
While the longevity of running backs in the NFL is a talking point Barkley heard plenty about as he tries to prove his worth to coaches and general managers, his time in the Beaver Stadium media room gave him practice for life after football.
“Talking about sports is fun to me and debating about sports and arguing about sports is something I do with my roommates and my teammates all the time,” Barkley said at the Fiesta Bowl media day. “So you guys definitely are giving me a lot of help with the microphone in my face and cameras all in my face throughout these last three years.”