FLEMINGTON -- Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is viewed by many as one of the most complete prospects to enter the NFL Draft in recent memory.
Weighing in at 6-foot and 235 pounds, Barkley's game film is full of explosive touchdown runs, plays where he leaps defenders and sticks the landing before keeping on running, and catches both out of the backfield or from the slot that have blown games wide open.
Flemington native and Hunterdon Central Regional High School product Jason Cabinda was tasked with defending Barkley every day in practice as a middle linebacker, and says that the multitude of ways that Barkley can beat a defense is what sets him apart from other backs.
"It's just how versatile he is," Cabinda told NJ Advance Media. "To me, he's like a scat-back in a big-back's body. That's really the best way to put it."
Cabinda says he believes Barkley has the chance to follow in the mold of former Eagles and current Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy.
"He's very LeSean McCoy like, but bigger," Cabinda said. "He can make you miss. He can run you over. He'll jump over you. He's very versatile in the passing game. You can spread him out in the slot. He can run routes form the backfield There are just so many ways he can beat you."
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Barkley's production at Penn State is impressive, but given the fact that he was often used as a decoy on run-pass options in the Nittany Lions offense and frequently out of the game by the fourth quarter during his junior season, his numbers could have been even more eye-popping than the 5,038 total yards from scrimmage and 51 touchdowns over three seasons.
Similarly to the NFL career that the 5-foot-11 and 210 pound McCoy has built, Barkley is a threat to score as a runner, a receiver, or after having the ball directly snapped to him largely because of his ability to cut on a dime and burst upfield.
"The thing is, he's a complete-back," Cabinda said. "He blocks in the running game. He blocks in the passing game. He does it all. I think that's what makes it special."