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Saquon Barkley declares for NFL draft

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In a statement released by Saquon Barkley in a post on Instagram and Penn State Athletics, the junior running back has declared he will forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.

By Jarrod Prugar

An All-American, Barkley makes his decision on the heels of a 135-yard, two touchdown performance for the Nittany Lions in the Fiesta Bowl. 

 The news of the running back’s departure is no surprise as he continuously broke records while donning the blue and white and finishes second on Penn State’s all-time rushing list behind only Evan Royster.

 “I would like to start off by saying thank you so much for all of the memories that you have helped create over the last three years, whether it be on the football field, in school or in the community,” Barkley said. “I am forever grateful to you for making my time here so enjoyable. You have been amazing to me through the ups and downs of my career and you will always have a special place in my heart.”

 Barkley leaves the Penn State football program better than he found it with his career coming to an end with a 92-yard touchdown run for the ages against Washington.

 “I hope I have left a lasting impression on this University, football program and community at large. It has been an honor and privilege to be able to call Penn State home and represent the Blue & White and all of the great players who came before me and will follow after me,”

 Barkley said of his time in the blue and white. “I will continue to work each and every day to continue to represent Penn State the right way as I move on to the next phase of my life.”By leaving a year early, Barkley comes up short in obtaining a degree from Penn State, something the star running back is bound to accomplish  

“I am aware I am coming up short on getting my degree, but I have made a promise to my mom, dad and Coach Franklin that I will continue to pursue my dream of obtaining a Penn State degree.” Barkley said.

 Replacing Barkley will be no easy task for head coach James Franklin, but the plans have been in place to replace Barkley for quite some time. And while Barkley will be off to the next level, his impact was well known both on and off the field for the Nittany Lions.

 “Saquon Barkley is a once in a lifetime type of player and it has been an honor to coach him and watch him grow into a fantastic young man,” Franklin said in a statement released by the University. “Saquon has left a legacy both on and off the field that will long be remembered by the Penn State community. Saquon knows he has some unfinished business in the classroom. Knowing how much it means to him, I have the utmost confidence that he will follow through on his promise and the plan that we have discussed to earn his Penn State degree. As good of a player as he is, he is an even better person and I look forward to watching him achieve his dream of playing in the NFL. We wish him nothing but the best on Sundays and we know that he will make us Penn State proud!”

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