Penn State sophomore Saquon Barkley might be the strongest—and most explosive—running back in the nation, and we have the video to prove it.
Even though the Nittany Lions lost a thrilling Rose Bowl shootout 52-49 on Monday, Barkley carved up the Trojans defense for 249 total yards and three touchdowns, including this electric 79-yard score in the third quarter to give Penn State the lead:
Saquon Barkley out here just playing with the USC defense pic.twitter.com/HffwfBc2id
— College Town™ (@CollegeT0wn) January 3, 2017
Barkley showed off his ridiculous combination of strength, power, and speed on the play, first by breaking a tackle at the line of scrimmage, then cutting through two Trojans defenders on the right side before turning on his acceleration and zig-zagging all the way across the field, leaving five USC players in the dust and scoring the touchdown.
Barkley actually covered 118 total yards of distance on the play, making it even more impressive. (Want to improve you speed and agility and get some moves like Barkley? Try this running back workout from Men's Fitness and add some explosion to your game.)
But if you were paying attention to Barkley earlier this year, his feat of strength was no surprise.
The 222-pound running back set a Penn State record in 2016 by pulling off a near-400-pound power clean—breaking the record of 260-pound lineman Anthony Zettel, who literally has tackled a tree to the ground. Yeah, Barkley’s one explosive running back:
— Josh Gattis (@Coach_Gattis) March 1, 2016
Barkley likely would have been the MVP of the game had Penn State won, but he’ll have to settle for a couple amazing highlights instead. He broke Penn State's bowl game rushing record set by Blair Thomas in the 1989 Holiday Bowl, and left some USC fans completely flabbergasted by his physical dominance:
— Zack Neiner (@ZackNeiner) January 3, 2017