Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Barkley Keeps Sanders in Shadows but Former Woodland Hills Superstar Hones Skills While Waiting His Turn

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Barkley Keeps Sanders in Shadows but Former Woodland Hills Superstar Hones Skills While Waiting His Turn

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Miles Sanders was rated the No. 1 all-purpose back in the nation in 2015, in his senior season at Woodland Hills High School.

Even so, he never has made it above No. 2 on the depth chart in two seasons at Penn State.

It seems the shadow cast by Saquon Barkley is big enough to keep anyone else at the position from commandeering the spotlight.

"Miles has been behind one of the better running backs, if not the best running back and player, in college football," Nittany Lions coach James Franklin said. "That's a really good challenge. You're a good player, behind another good player, that's difficult."

But being temporarily relegated to a supporting role doesn't mean Sanders, who enters the Nittany Lions' regular-season finale at Maryland at 3:30 p.m. Saturday with 141 yards on 18 carries, won't live up to his vast potential.

In fact, quarterback Tommy Stevens - something of an authority on being overqualified to serve as a backup - expects Sanders to have a major impact when his chance comes.

"I can't wait until you guys can see Miles blow up, because Miles is a tremendous player," he said. "Not to take anything away from Saquon, because he's amazing and you don't see many guys like him, but Miles is outstanding.

"I can't wait for him to make the most of his opportunities and play well. You guys have seen the things that he's done just within his [limited] opportunities."

Sanders actually averages significantly more yardage per carry than Barkley - 7.4 to 5.8 - and has benefited from watching him work.

"Miles has been in a lab with one of the best professors in the country to learn from," Franklin said. "I think that's invaluable.

"I'll never forget when I was [coaching] in Green Bay, we drafted Aaron Rodgers that year. Aaron was able to sit behind Brett Favre and learn. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.