Born in the Bronx, Barkley is the son of former WBC middleweight champion Iran Barkley. He moved to Pennsylvania, where he went on to become Mr. Football for Class AAA/AAAA in 2014 while also winning the gold medal in the 100-meter dash.
A four-star recruit, Barkley missed his first two games at Penn State in 2015 but still went on to rack up five 100-yard rushing games and was second in the nation among true freshmen with 1,076 yards. The following season, he led the Big Ten in all-purpose yards (140.86 yards per game) and 22 total touchdowns while finishing second with 1,496 rushing yards. Named a team captain before the 2017 season, Barkley went on to become the first FBS player since 2000 to top 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in a season, and finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Barkley set numerous Penn State records before declaring early for the draft. He passed Larry Johnson as the program's career all-purpose yards leader (5,538), broke Lydell Mitchell's marks of 43 rushing and 53 total touchdowns and joined Evan Royster as the only Penn State players with three 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
Barkley is an outstanding all-around athlete and home-run threat as a runner, receiver and return man. He is extremely elusive with the ball in his hands, using his compact frame, quick feet and a variety of moves to escape blockers in the backfield or at the second level. Barkley has the vision and the lateral burst to get to the corner or exploit cut-back lanes and has more than enough speed to run away from would-be tacklers. He also displays solid hands and good route-running skills.
If there are areas of his game to nitpick, Barkley needs to refine his pass blocking and become disciplined in following designed holes in the NFL, where trying to find the end zone on every carry will lead to more negative plays.
--Field Level Media
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