Penn State's Saquon Barkley sits out Pro Day, excited to become father

(Scranton) Times-Tribune (TNS)
  • Penn State's Saquon Barkley sat out the school's Pro Day on Tuesday.
  • Barkley and his girlfriend, PSU student Anna Congdon, are expecting their first child on April 14.
  • Barkley is expected to be a high NFL draft pick on April 26.

STATE COLLEGE — Sometimes, there’s more to a Tweet than meets the eye.

Saquon Barkley knows that better than most now.

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, left, talks with cornerback Grant Haley between drills during Penn State Pro Day in State College, Pa., Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Barkley did not participate in drills. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

“I Tweeted out the other day, ‘Big blessings coming my way,’ or something like that,” Penn State’s star running back said during the program’s Pro Day on Tuesday. “A lot of people thought I was just talking about the draft.”

Well, Barkley conceded April is going to be a big month for him, but not just because he’s expected to go at or near the top of the draft on April 26.

He and his girlfriend, Forest City native and fellow Penn State student Anna Congdon, are expecting their first child mid-month.

Barkley, 21, said the child is due April 14, and it is anticipated the baby will be delivered in Scranton.

“Not sure of the gender,” he said. “That’s going to be a surprise.

“Some people aren’t blessed with the opportunity to have kids, and I’m able to have one. I’m truly excited.”

Congdon announced the news Saturday with a post on Instragram.

Easy Pro Day: Barkley, who dominated the NFL Combine earlier this month by running a 4.40-second 40-yard dash with a 41-inch vertical leap and 29 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, had a relatively easy Pro Day.

He didn’t work out at all, even though he conceded he planned to when he woke up Tuesday morning.

“When I realized there wasn’t a running backs coach here (representing an NFL team), I kind of figured there was no point for me to run routes or drills for guys who aren’t running backs coaches,” he said.

He doesn’t plan to do private workouts for teams between now and the draft, settling instead for private interviews where he’ll ask teams who want to know more about him to put on his game film from Penn State. That, he said, will show what he’s all about as a football player better than a 40 time.

Still, if they need to see him really move, they might want to watch him high-tail it out of Dallas if his first son or daughter decides to arrive 12 days late and interrupts the NFL Draft.

“That’s something that we’re actually worried about,” Barkley said. “But I can tell you that, if that is the case, I’m taking the first plane back to Scranton.”

Scrap’s yard: Representatives from all 32 NFL teams requested credentials from Penn State to attend Tuesday’s Pro Day workouts at Holuba Hall, even though the reps from at least two teams — Jacksonville and Indianapolis — didn’t show up.

The Pittsburgh Steelers had one of the biggest contingents. They sent a handful of scouts, along with general manager Kevin Colbert and their new defensive backs coach, who is not a stranger to campus.

Tom Bradley, of course, served as a defensive assistant under Joe Paterno from 1979 through 2011, the last 12 seasons as defensive coordinator. Bradley coached four games as interim head coach after Paterno’s firing in November of 2011 in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.

Bradley said Steelers policy precludes him from speaking to the media. But Tuesday’s return to campus marked his first time in Holuba Hall since that fateful December of 2011, before Penn State left to play Houston in the 2012 TicketCity Bowl.

Still impressing: Several Penn State players who weren’t invited to the NFL Combine earlier this month got to show they had a shot to build off the Nittany Lions’ strong showing in Indianapolis.

Receiver Saeed Blacknall ripped off a 4.39-second 40, and even though his vertical jump of 32.5 inches lagged behind the norm for big-time prospects, his 24 reps on the bench press exceeded expectations. After his workouts, he sat down with a scout from the Miami Dolphins for an extended chat.

Penn State also saw two defensive linemen set lofty workout standards.

Defensive tackle Curtis Cothran rank a 4.85 40, did 26 reps on the bench and broad-jumped 9-feet-11 at 283 pounds. Meanwhile, defensive end Colin Castagna ran a 4.76 and completed a team-best 30 reps on the bench.