New York Giants running back, Saquon Barkley and former big blue punt returner/running back, David Wilson have a lot in common
They set records.
Wilson was the Giants’ first round pick (32nd overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft out out of Virginia Tech.
In 2012, Wilson set the New York Giants team record for all-purpose yards in a single game. The Virginia native accumulated 327 all-purpose yards in a 52-27 win over the New Orleans Saints. In that game, he returned four kickoffs for 227 yards; which included a 97-yard return for a touchdown.
In his rookie season, Wilson became the first player in NFL history with 200 kick return yards and 100 rushing yards, and the second player since 1970 with a kick return touchdown and two rushing touchdowns, in the same game.
Wilson was forced to retire from football after only two NFL seasons because of a career-ending neck injury.
Saquon Barkley, like Wilson put on a show in year one. Two seasons ago, the NFL Rookie of the Year notched 1,307 yards, the most rushing yards by a rookie and the former Penn State Nittany Lion set the rookie record for the most touchdowns in a season with 15.
Appearing on today’s episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast, David Wilson spoke highly of Barkley. “When I watch him play, it looks like he’s having a lot of fun and he looks like he knows what he’s doing and he takes the game serious,” he told me.
“And you know, he’s entertaining. He’s strong and powerful and versatile, so I enjoy watching him. He’s exciting.
“He’s versatile, so to really compare him to somebody I think I see a lot of the good things of a lot of the past players in him.”
For those keeping score at home: In 13 games this season, Barkley rushed for 1003 yards and six touchdowns. Barkley did that despite missing three games due to a high ankle sprain he suffered in Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he was expected to miss four to eight weeks. Barkley defied all odds and came back in Week 7.
One of his memorable games this season came against the Miami Dolphins in Week 15 where he rushed 24 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns and caught four passes for 31 yards in the 36–20 win.
Worth noting: Barkley finished his second season was the only running back in Giants’ history to have 1,000 rushing yards in their first two seasons.
Despite the odd nature of the current offseason, Barkley has remained hard at work, frequently posting videos of his intense workouts that highlight his remarkable strength.