Penn State running back Saquon Barkley — one of the most electric college football players in recent memory — is widely expected to be a top-five pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
This doesn’t mean that Barkley, who has one year of eligibility remaining with the Nittany Lions, has already decided to turn pro.
In fact, Barkley just recently noted that he will wait until after Penn State’s Fiesta Bowl outing against Washington before making a final decision about whether he will forgo his senior season at Happy Valley.
“Definitely after the bowl game,” Barkley said Wednesday when asked about the decision, via Land of 10. “I’m definitely going to sit down with my family and just think about life, probably take a little break and see what my family thinks, talk to my coaches and definitely talk to my teammates. I’ll have my decision made then.”
A Heisman favorite early in the year, Barkley put up 1,728 total yards and 19 touchdowns during the regular season. Though, head coach James Franklin struggled with usage when it comes to the running back — leading to less production than his talent might suggest.
Despite this, Barkley notes that his decision-making process will include Franklin.
“Me and Coach (James) Franklin have a really close relationship, so we talk prior to the season and during the season,” Barkley continued. “That’s, I’ll say, confidential between me and him. I’m happy I have a relationship with my head coach like that, that I know I can come to him any moment, any time, and I’m fortunate enough to have a relationship with Coach Franklin.”
Barkley may want to wait until after Penn State’s bowl game to make an announcement. He’s a team player and doesn’t want any distractions.
But it would be one of the biggest surprises in recent college football history if the blue-chip prospect did indeed decide to return for his senior season.