Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Barkley's First Child May Arrive as He Gets Drafted

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Barkley's First Child May Arrive as He Gets Drafted

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Saquon Barkley is only a few weeks from the biggest moment in his young life.

And it just might happen during the NFL draft in Dallas.

But it won't have anything to do with football.

Barkley, the former Penn State running back, is preparing to become a first-time father and, if the baby arrives around the same time as Round 1 of the draft, well, deciding where to be apparently won't be a tough call.

"That's something we're actually a little worried about," Barkley said. "If that is the case, I'm taking the first plane back to Scranton [hometown of his girlfriend, Anna Congdon]."

Barkley said the baby is supposed to arrive April 14; if that schedule holds, he'll be a parent before he becomes a pro.

But while he's a near-consensus choice to go early in the first round, Barkley doesn't have a real sense of where he's likely to begin his NFL career.

"I'm super-excited and just ready to get to a team," he said. "Whatever team it is - whether it's 1 or whether it's 2 or it's the 35th pick or whatever - I'm ready to get to work."

Barkley earned a reputation as a selfless player at Penn State, so the way he framed the possibility of being the first player claimed was entirely predictable.

"Would it be cool to be No. 1 [in the draft]?" he said. "Yes. I think it represents the running-back position. Not myself, but the guys before me - the Le'Veons [Bell], the Zekes [Elliott], the Todd Gurleys - and the success that they've had in the NFL in recent years, showing you how valuable the running-back position is. That's a testament to them."

It's hardly certain that Cleveland, which has the No. 1 pick, will take Barkley - many mock drafts predict an early run on quarterbacks - but he insists he isn't fretting about how the process will play out.

"If a team wants a quarterback, it will take a quarterback," he said. …

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