Former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley plans to complete his communications degree “as soon” as he can for both his future and his daughter, according to his first-person story Thursday in The Players’ Tribune.
In a piece titled, “The Anchor-Mentor-Father Plan,” Barkley lays out his future plans. Because he declared early for the 2018 NFL draft, becoming the No. 2 overall pick of the New York Giants and signing a four-year deal worth $31.2 million, he never finished his college degree. And that doesn’t sit right with him.
“The crazy thing is … I’m a college dropout,” the NFL rookie wrote. “I’m serious. That’s what it feels like. I left school early to enter the draft, and even though I know it was the right decision for my football career and my future, I still get people who ask me what I got my degree in, or what year I graduated. And it makes me uncomfortable because … I don’t like my answer.”
He continued: “So as soon as I can, I’m going to go back to Penn State to finish my degree. And when I do, I’m going to walk across that stage, hold my degree up high, and then go home and hang it on my wall to show my daughter that I accomplished something great. To show her that daddy is much more than just a football player.”
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Barkley said he’d like to use that communications degree to stay close to the game of football once his career’s over, be it in two years or 10. Whether that means he’s in a broadcast booth, or across a table from Stephen A. Smith, he doesn’t seem to mind. He just wants to be close.
Another goal: He’d like to open a youth gym, “something to give kids the opportunity to work hard and try different sports and find out what they’re good at.”
Barkley left his three-year Penn State career as one of the Nittany Lions’ all-time greats. And he’s currently the odds-on favorite to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
He’s fast become a fan favorite because of his unselfish attitude. And his story in The Players’ Tribune is sure to draw in a few more.