After establishing himself as one of the top players in college football in the 2017 season, former Penn State football star Saquon Barkley is arguably the best player available in the 2018 NFL Draft.
With the NFL draft less than three weeks away, Barkley sat down for an interview with FOX Sports and discussed the upcoming draft, his Penn State legacy and why he wants to be the No. 1 overall pick, among other topics.
Watch the interview below:
"That team that drafts me is getting a guy who's a hard worker — that's the only thing I know."@saquon talks about the upcoming NFL Draft and leaving a legacy at @PennStateFball #TheHustle pic.twitter.com/DRBIkJRX2L
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) April 5, 2018
When asked about what will be going through his mind of draft day, Barkley said that he will be reflecting on his journey to that moment as well as dealing with some nerves.
“Right now, you probably reflect on all the hard work you put in to get to this moment, and then you probably got a little nerves also because at that point you don’t know where you’re going to be drafted or where you’re going to be living,” Barkley said in the interview. “You’re just waiting for that phone call. But it’s going to be a special moment because you’re going to be surrounded with good friends and great family members.”
When he was asked about what it would be like to be the No. 1 pick in the draft, Barkley said it would mean more to the running back position itself than it would mean to him personally.
“The reason why the No. 1 pick would be so special for me is not because of me, but because of the position of the running back position and where you’ve seen the game evolve starting from five or four years ago,” Barkley said. “People didn’t even consider a running back being mentioned in the first round. Being the No. 1 pick — the first running back picked No. 1 since 1995, Ki-Jana Carter — would just show the evolution of the position. Got to give credit to those backs that are dominating the NFL right now.”
Barkley also talked about the legacy he left behind at Penn State, saying that he wants to be remembered among the Penn State greats and for helping to bring the “national spotlight” back to the team.
“What I hope I left behind is to be one of the best running backs who ever played there,” Barkley said. “That’s something that was my motivation when I came to that school. I walked down the hallways every single day looking at all the great running backs and all the great players, and I wanted to be mentioned as one of those top guys.”
In 38 games from 2015-17 with the Nittany Lions, Barkley rushed for 3,843 yards and 43 touchdowns on 671 carries. In addition, he made 102 receptions for 1,195 yards and 8 touchdowns, and collected 500 yards and 2 touchdowns on 18 kick returns.
The NFL draft will begin on Thursday, April 26.