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‘Where It All Started’: Why Saquon Barkley Returned to Penn State to Host Youth Football Camp

By John McGonigal, The Morning Call, 05/21/19, 12:00PM CDT

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But the commercials, endorsement deals and fame hasn’t changed the fact that Barkley enjoys returning to his roots.

Saquon Barkley heard it all Saturday. You’re my idol. You’re my favorite player. I want to be like you. Barkley — always humble, typically smiling — deflected praise all day at Holuba Hall, where he hosted 600 kids at his first-ever youth football camp. “I just told them no. Never try to be like someone. Be better than me. Don’t try to be the next someone. Be the next you,” the former Nittany Lion said. “You can do whatever you want in life. As long as you put your mind to it, anything is possible.”

Standing in the practice facility that helped make him who he is today, Barkley’s words were fitting. The face of Penn State’s return to national prominence came home Saturday. Well, to one of his three homes. Barkley grew up in Whitehall and now resides in New Jersey while starring for the New York Giants. But in between those two stops was State College, where Saquon became Saquon.