Penn State moving on from Saquon Barkley in 2018: The case for the Lions as a top-10 team
Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley celebrates a touchdown pass with running back Saquon Barkley during the first quarter at Beaver Stadium on Oct. 8, 2016. Penn State beat Maryland, 38-14.Joe Hermitt | firstname.lastname@example.org
Some national college championship game, huh? Alabama just kept coming at Georgia and the Crimson Tide’s depth proved to be the difference. Both teams were flying around the field in Atlanta and Nick Saban has another trophy to admire. James Franklin’s Penn State program finished No. 8 in the country, and many PSU fans are wondering if the Lions can take the next step in 2018.
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and head coach James Franklin hug during pregame at the Fiesta Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Dec. 30, 2017. Joe Hermitt | email@example.com
Penn State head coach James Franklin greets commits Justin Shorter, Ricky Slade, Zach Kuntz, Aeneas Hawkins, Shaquon Anderson-Butts and Jesse Lukuta before the Pitt game at Beaver Stadium on Sept. 9, 2017. Joe Hermitt | firstname.lastname@example.org
It won’t be easy, not with No. 26 moving on to the National Football League. The Lions are also replacing tight end Mike Gesicki and PSU loses several good players from a defense that played very well in wins over Iowa, Michigan and Northwestern last fall. Will the Lions take a step back in 2018 because Saquon Barkley isn’t in uniform? I think you can make an argument that the Lions have enough talent to post a top-10 finish again. But first a few words about James Franklin …