Miles Sanders will ease the loss of Saquan Barkley

Posted: June 29, 2018 in College football
Tags: , , ,

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It’s not often a program will lose a No. 2 overall NFL draft pick and not feel its effects the following season. While Penn State will be without Saquan Barkley in 2018, Miles Sanders will fill the gap and should show similar production. While Barkley totaled nearly 2,000 yards from scrimmage last year, Sanders has the talent to come close to that.

Noted college football guru Phil Steele rated Sanders as the No. 3 overall running back out of high school in the 2016 recruiting class. The 5’11” 211 pound Junior is physically similar to Barkley. As a true freshman he played in 13 games and averaged 7.4 yards per carry on 25 totes. Last year Sanders played in 12 games, including a start versus Rutgers. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry on 31 rush attempts.

Sanders has unique cutting ability and has shown great route running ability out of the backfield. Along with having a veteran quarterback in Trace McSorley returning, Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin believes that this years offensive line is the best its been since he took over the program in 2014. Steele rates the line the 15th best in the nation.

Sanders was named pre-season third team All-Big Ten from Steele, who projects Penn State to average a solid 155 rushing yards per game in 2018 after averaging 171 over the last two seasons.

After Barkley rushed for over 1,000 yards each of the last three seasons, Sanders should continue that trend in 2018 as he becomes the focal point of the Nittany Lions rushing attack.

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