Saquon Barkley is a problem.
The 5-foot-11, 230-pound Penn State running back essentially carried his team to a victory on Saturday. Barkley totaled 305 yards from scrimmage as the Nittany Lions pulled out a narrow 21-19 win over Iowa.
“The big difference in the game was that running back. (Barkley’s) a phenomenal player,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz told ESPN. We know that Barkley possesses tremendous straight-line speed—he clocked a 4.33 40-Yard Dash during the offseason—but he also showcased explosive lateral agility during Saturday’s game.
Just look at this ridiculous jump cut:
Short of becoming an actual superhero, that’s about as close to teleportation as the human race can achieve. Barkley gained 16 yards on a play that should’ve gone nowhere. NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah recently said Barkley is already a superior player to Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, in large part due to his jaw-dropping elusiveness.
Barkley detailed the technique behind his lethal jump cut during an interview with the Big Ten Network. “Defenders, when they play against me, I notice on film they really try to take space away from me. So I kinda try to use that to my advantage,” Barkley said. “I’ll try to force them to lean one way, then I’ll give them a little head nod and lean, so they can commit to (one) way. Then the best way to describe (my jump cut) is like a basketball crossover.”