By nailing his Scouting Combine testing, Saquon Barkely earned more praise than he was already getting.
But with a demanding travel schedule in his future the next two months, the Penn State running back has no plans on taking it easy.
During an interview with Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Barkley said he is putting demands on himself to keep a regular workout regimen, despite a packed schedule of media appearances, visit with teams and awards ceremonies.
“The most important thing is taking care of your body and pushing yourself to the limit so you can continue to grow not only as an athlete but as a player,” Barkley said. “Even though through all these visits I might be here and there, I find time to make sure to work out. . . .
“Not find time. Demand time.”
It’s apparent he’s done his work already, after running his 40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds, posting a 41-inch vertical leap and putting up 29 repetitions of the 225-pound bench press. That kind of explosive ability was evident in his game tape at Penn State, but last week’s performance just underscored the potential that’s there.
He said he’s still considering whether to work out at all at Penn State’s pro day on March 20, but unless he just wants to do a three-cone drill or something, it’s hard to know what he’d gain. But he’s intent on continuing to work.
“A lot of vets and NFL guys and even coaches I’ve talked to say people when they’re done with the Combine think, ‘That’s it,'” he said. “They think they’ve made it and it’s, ‘Oh, now I just have to get to the draft. I did what I had to do.’
“No. You’ve still got work to do. You can’t take time off.”
That attitude toward work has helped put him where he is today, which is in the conversation to be one of the first players taken in the 2018 NFL Draft.