Saquon Barkley was watching TV with roommate Miles Sanders last Wednesday and saw his name pop up on the ESPN sidebar.
To his surprise, Barkley’s segment with Sports Science that he filmed back in May was about to air.
“I actually didn’t know it was coming on,” Barkley said Wednesday with a smile. “That was a pretty cool experience.”
Barkley thrived in cool conditions — and the heat, for that matter. Sport Science host John Brenkus measured Barkley in extreme settings and compared the numbers to his baseline.
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After spending 10 minutes under 170-degree lights, Barkley finished a drill in 8.3 seconds — faster than Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s 8.7 seconds under normal conditions. Barkley cleared a 4.5-foot hurdle and ran the drill in 8.5 seconds after 10 minutes in a 20-degree ice truck. He also finished a heavy bag test in 1.6 seconds after being doused with water to mimic rain.
Barkley enjoyed the whole experience.
“You grow up watching guys like (Adrian Peterson) and last year Zeke Elliott compete in those drills, and then you get a chance to compete in those drills and see how your numbers stack up against those guys,” Barkley said. “It was really cool.”
When it’s offense against defense, there are pushups on the line — and Barkley is getting involved.
Even if he’s not the one taking the rep, Barkley loves trash talking with linebacker Jason Cabinda and cornerbacks Grant Haley and Amani Oruwariye.
Even with defensive line coach Sean Spencer.
“’Where they at, Spence? Where they at?’” the coach recalls Barkley saying.
But with Barkley, it’s not malicious. From his perspective, he does it to up the intensity in practice and make his team better.
The loser of the particular play or series drops to the ground and does five pushups while the winner watches. And when his side of the ball wins, Barkley’s going to let Spencer and his players know.
“I want the offense to win,” Barkley said, nodding his head. “It’s all fun and games. It’s the best for the team. ... I’m a good trash talker. I don’t really trash talk that much. But when I do, I’m not bad at it.”
“He made a play the other day where he made a cut and he got to get going a bit, and coach just blew the whistle. You’re kind of like, ‘Ooo, I wanted to see how that was going to turn out.’ There was a guy chasing him, and I’d put my money on Journey Brown.” — Barkley, on true freshman running back Journey Brown’s speed