If the preseason college football magazines are any indication, sophomore running back Saquon Barkley has already emerged as the player face of the Penn State football program.
And why not? With 1,076 yards and seven scores on just 182 carries (and six starts) as a true freshman, Barkley has already been pegged as the best running back in the Big Ten and one of the best in the nation for 2016.
But Barkley still holds a special place in his heart for Whitehall (Pa.) High, where less than 19 months ago he was destroying opposing defenses in PIAA competition.
Whitehall took part in Penn State’s 44-team 7-on-7 Camp on campus Saturday, and there was a familiar face hanging around the Zephyrs as they advanced through the tournament. Barkley was there, and he was cheering on his high school alma mater, offering advice when asked and — as you can seen above — enjoying the celebrations as Whitehall ended up winning the championship.
He also took a (very good-natured) zinger from Nittany Lion head coach James Franklin as the Zephyrs were presented with the championship trophy.
“Who would have thought, you get rid of Saquon Barkley, you guys are doing big things?” Franklin cracked as the team — and Barkley — broke into laughter.
“I never won a championship,” Barkley quickly admitted.
Check out the video above.null