Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald on Saquon Barkley: ‘maybe the best player I’ve ever seen on tape’

Saquon Barkley has been dominating college football this season and everybody knows it.

Barkley is an obvious Heisman Trophy candidate, and on Monday afternoon, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald — whose team will have to play against Barkley and Penn State on Oct. 7 — compared Barkley to former Heisman Trophy winners after giving him the ultimate praise.

“Barkley is maybe the best player I’ve ever seen on tape,” Fitzgerald said. “And I’ve played against some pretty good backs. I’ve coached against some pretty good backs. But he’s just absolutely spectacular. He’s great in the run game, he’s great in protection, he’s great catching the ball out of the backfield, he’s a great return man. He does it all. He’s an outstanding football player.”

According to Josh Moyer of the Centre Daily Times, Fitzgerald mentioned names like Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne, Ohio State’s Eddie George and Michigan’s Tim Biakabutuka.

Fitzgerald’s Wildcats were on a bye a couple weeks ago and he did catch the Penn State-Iowa game from that weekend. He even said himself that he was cheering for the Nittany Lions’ do-it-all man.

“The list goes on and on,” Fitzgerald said. “And to just see the skill-set (Barkley) has, it’s everything. He’s great in protection, he’s great running the ball, he’s got great vision, he’s got great balance, he’s got great speed, he’s got great toughness.

“I had a chance to watch the Iowa game and the toughness he showed — as a fan in the bye week, I’m sitting here cheering for that guy. It’s like, ‘Wow.’ If I was a Penn State fan, I’d be pretty stoked up. He’s darn good.”

If Fitzgerald miraculously became a Heisman Trophy voter by season’s end, the world now knows who he would vote for.

“He’s just a great player, and I’ll be a huge fan of his after 4 o’clock on Saturday for the rest of the year to win the Heisman,” Fitzgerald said. “I’d vote for him. Five games in, I’d vote for him.”

Back in 2015, during Barkley’s freshman campaign — and the last time these two teams played — Northwestern won the game, 23-21. Barkley however, even at the age of 18, ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns.

The Penn State-Northwestern game is scheduled for a 12 p.m. ET start on Oct. 7 at Ryan Field.

The post Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald on Saquon Barkley: ‘maybe the best player I’ve ever seen on tape’ appeared first on Land of 10.

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X