Saquon Barkley may have left Penn State early, but he always planned on finishing his college degree.
The New York Giants running back accomplished his mission this weekend, graduating as part of Penn State's Class of 2022.
Barkley played at Penn State from 2015 to 2017, emerging as one of the most electric players in Nittany Lions history. He recorded 3,843 rushing yards and 1,195 receiving yards over the course of his three-year career, winning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year twice and consensus All-American honors in 2017.
Barkley declared for the draft after his junior season and was taken as the No. 2 overall pick in 2018. While he acknowledged the decision to leave Penn State without graduating was best for his future, Barkley said he wanted to finish his degree for his daughter.
“So as soon as I can, I’m going to go back to Penn State to finish my degree,” Barkley wrote in a 2018 Players Tribune column. “And when I do, I’m going to walk across that stage, hold my degree up high, and then go home and hang it on my wall to show my daughter that I accomplished something great. To show her that daddy is much more than just a football player."
Barkley continued taking classes over the course of his four-year NFL career, which has seen him win the 2018 Rookie of the Year and compile two 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
Now he can add college graduate to his ever-growing list of accomplishments.