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December 28, 2017

Saquon Barkley

Glendale, Arizona

Q. (Question about what Saquon Barkley wants to pursue after football.)
SAQUON BARKLEY: I want to do something -- I want to pursue something that I love and have a passion doing. And talking about sports is fun to me, and debating about sports and arguing about sports is something I do with my roommates and my teammates all the time. So you guys definitely are giving me a lot of help with the microphone in my face and cameras all in my face throughout these last three years.

So definitely made me more comfortable in that area and that kind of thing. It goes hand in hand. So why not have a football player talking about football? He's been through it. He worked through it. He did the work. He understands the game.

I think a great example is Tony Romo. I forgot what game it was. He was able to call out plays. I think he did a great job of anchoring that game. So why not? I think it goes hand in hand. I think I have a passion for that and a love for that.

Q. You were talking to Stewart yesterday?
SAQUON BARKLEY: Tony Stewart, the cool thing about Tony Stewart he's from Lehigh Valley area, and he played for Central Catholic. And when I was in high school, one of my coaches, Coach Faircroth (phonetic) was actually one of his teammates. We were talking about that. He was telling me he knows Faircroth and stuff like that.

It was cool to see a guy -- he's so successful even outside of football, and he comes from our area, comes from Lehigh Valley, cool to be able to talk to a guy like that. And he gave me great advice, told me if I ever need anything just to give him a phone call.

Q. Talking to him, did it briefly bring back a rush of memories -- your time at Lehigh Valley, that kind of thing, here I am three years later?
SAQUON BARKLEY: Yeah, time definitely made you go down memory lane when you talk to a guy from Lehigh Valley and especially Central Catholic. My last memory of Central Catholic, my senior year and we were down by 28 points at one point and it was obviously fortunate enough to come back and win the game.

But definitely it's been a blast. These three years have flew by. It's been amazing. And I'm so thankful and so blessed to be fortunate to have the opportunity to play at a school like Penn State and be able to represent Lehigh Valley. And hopefully I continue to represent it in the right way, and just be able to make people back home proud and make my family proud.

I hope I can continue to do that. But, yeah, it has flew by. And anytime we talk to a Lehigh Valley guy it definitely brings back memories.

Q. What impresses you the most about this Huskies defense, all the weapons they have?
SAQUON BARKLEY: So defensive-wise, they're amazing. They're -- the numbers, if you look at the numbers, they're like ranked in the top five in everything in college football. And it's kind of amazing to actually, when you look at the numbers, if you just look at them number wise, where you look at the film and break down the film and look at them as a team, they're even more impressive, they stand out even more.

That defensive line is big, it's huge. And the thing is they're huge and they're athletic. They can move well, move pretty well. They're not just big guys, like, they just take up space. They take up space, but they're powerful, they're fast, they're explosive. And that front seven, I think they do a really good job especially in the run defense, they're the number one run defense in the country.

It's going to be a challenge for our team. But I do think they haven't seen a team like us either. And I do think we're going to present some challenges for them. And I do think we have a great game plan to attack them.

So at the end of the day it's football. So we have to execute. And at the end of the day if we execute better than them, we're going to win. And if they execute better than we execute, then they'll get the win.

Q. How is your O line? Describe the O line?
SAQUON BARKLEY: I think my O line is fantastic. You gotta give a lot of credit to the O line. I think my O line gets bashed a lot, which I don't understand how. Not to be cocky, I was finalist for a lot of awards, a lot of major awards. And that don't come with -- I can't get that without my O line. A lot of people try to give me a lot of praise but try to bash the O line which doesn't make sense because as a running back it goes hand in hand.

Great example, I think you talk to any of the great backs or good backs in college football, Bryce Love had a heck of a year. Royce Freeman, all those backs had great years and are mentioned in those categories for awards. But at the end of the day, Bryce Love doesn't rush 2000 yards without his offensive line, or I don't become a or Doak Walker finalist without my offensive line.

I think my offensive line has done a tremendous job this year, especially if you watch football you watch the game, a lot of teams try to do a lot of things that take, I guess you could say take me out of the game or take the running game out of the game, and presents different fronts and different looks and movements and twists and this and that.

And it's a challenge, makes it hard for the offensive line. But the offensive line has done a great job this year, and they continue to do a great job. And they know the challenge that we have. And they know that we're going against the top rush defense in the country. We faced one at one point in Michigan, and we started off the game with a bang. And we had great offensive game, put up a lot of points and moving the ball pretty well.

So, the offensive line knows every week it's up to them. And we go where they go. And they're more excited for this challenge, and I'm excited to see how we face, how we go against them.

Q. (Indiscernible) from here to Seattle, not that far, kind of a home game for the Huskies. How do Penn State fans travel for those who don't know on the West Coast?
SAQUON BARKLEY: The best way to describe that is look at that USC game last year. We're in LA, kind of USC territory, and you could make the argument we had more white than they had -- I forgot the color, like, red and yellow.

You'll see, you'll see at the Fiesta Bowl how Penn State travels. Penn State fans are amazing. We have the best fans in the country. I'm not just saying that because I'm biased. I truly do believe that. And they travel well.

And it may be on a West Coast, it may be technically more of a home game for them, but I think Penn State fans will hold their own and help us out in that area.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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