Everybody outside of Penn State circles knows how special running back Saquon Barkley is.
But, what does James Franklin — Barkley’s coach — think of him? Well, on Monday’s edition of ESPN’s Mike & Mike show, the fourth-year coach of the Nittany Lions said a whole lot of positive things about his Heisman Trophy candidate.
“I know most college coaches, you hear them talk, ‘ah, he’s biased.’ I’ve been doing this for 23 years. He’s the best football player I’ve ever been around. And the thing that I would say to you guys, if you get an opportunity to meet him or come here and be around him, he’s a better guy (…) I’m telling you, this Saquon Barkley is as special of a player and as special of a person that I’ve ever been around.”
Franklin also talked about how mature he is, mentioning how he’s handled all of the outside noise.
“If you have an opportunity to get around him and be around him and see how well he’s handled all this success at such an early age is remarkable. And he sets the tone for our whole organization in how he works, how he treats people, how he’s doing in school, the whole deal.
“I’ve been blessed to coach him. I’ve got two daughters. They’re blessed to be around him. He’s a special guy.”
From a football perspective, Franklin said to look at what Michigan defensively was doing to everybody they played. He said his game-plan was to get Barkley the ball in a lot of different ways.
“Wildcat, traditional running game, passing game. Seriously. Look at the stats of what Michigan was doing against everybody and then look at what we were able to do offensively. It’s because of Saquon.”
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