Barkley originally committed to Rutgers. As all Penn State fans pause for a collective gasp, it was coaches Charles Huff and Sean Spencer who played an integral part in encouraging Barkley to flip his commitment to Penn State in February 2014. Head Coach James Franklin even personally called Barkley early in 2014 and told him that Barkley is “coming to Penn State, and
Despite being unable to attend Penn State Football camp, where top recruits are typically scouted by Penn State coaches, Barkley was able to attend the famed Penn State vs. Michigan game in 2013 in which Penn State won 43-40 in four overtimes. Barkley says of the day, “The vibe, the energy, the atmosphere was just amazing… Penn State
Barkley not only came to Penn State for the athletics, but for the academics. Coach Franklin repeatedly reminds his squad that the goal is to “dominate, educate, graduate.” This mantra impacts everyone on the team in a positive way, and Barkley and his family are no different. Both Barkley and his family spoke volumes of how much that statement solidified Barkley’s decision to flip his commitment to Penn State. Barkley said numerous times that he does not want to ignore his life after college and feels that Penn State is the best possible choice in preparing him for post-collegiate life.
Since arriving at Penn State, Barkley has made a name for himself. He is the first true freshman since 2010 to rush for more than 100 yards in a game and Barkley has already seen the end zone more than once thanks to his agility and determination. In fact, Barkley was responsible for 195 rushing yards and two touchdowns during Penn State’s 28-3 win over Rutgers.
After being named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the week for the last two weeks, fans know that there are still bigger and better things to come for Barkley. At only 18, Barkley has already proven that he is an explosive threat to any opponent. With over half the season and three more full seasons left in his career as a Nittany Lion, the world can’t wait to see what successes Barkley has yet to achieve.