Penn State running back Saquon Barkley wasn’t quite ready to announce whether he’ll stay or go, saying after Saturday’s Playstation Fiesta Bowl that he needs more time before making a decision on the NFL draft.
Barkley, a junior, is rated No. 1 on Mel Kiper’s Big Board and No. 2 by Todd McShay. He rushed for 137 yards and two scores in the Nittany Lions’ 35-28 win over Washington, raising his season rushing totals to 1,271 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Barkley broke the game open early with a 92-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
“Right now I’m not even focused on that,” he said of his draft decision. “Right now I’m just trying to enjoy the moment and live in the moment, spend time with my teammates, and my family was able to make it to the bowl game this year, and spend time with them. Whether it’s the day after, or whether it’s two weeks, or until the last day, I’ll make that decision when it hits me in the side of my head. I’ll go with the decision I make.”
The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Jan. 15.
Barkley said Thursday that pushing the looming choice between a final year of college football and what many believe will be a spot in the first round of the draft isn’t always an easy task.
“It’s hard because it’s right in front of you,” he said. “I’m human. I have taken time to think about it. I talked to [coach James] Franklin about it before the season even started. I talked to my family about it. The best way I try to deal with it is to live in the moment and appreciate the time I have here.”