Saquon Barkley was able to retrieve New York Giants rookie running back Jon Hilliman’s touchdown ball on Friday night.
The New York Giants will have quite the competition for the reserve running back spots. Obviously, Saquon Barkley is the clear-cut starter. But as far as the guys behind him on the depth chart, there are four individuals competing for the three potential spots.
With Elijhaa Penny looking to retain his role as the Big Blue fullback, Wayne Gallman, Rod Smith, Paul Perkins, and Jon Hilliman will be competing against one another. The latter is an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers University (previously played for Boston College) and scored his first touchdown of the preseason on Friday night. He tossed the ball to the side after reaching the endzone, but Barkley was able to retrieve the ball for the rookie.
“That’s a good guy,” Hilliman said, per Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. “He got it for me and said, ‘This is a special moment. Congratulations, man. Continued success, don’t let it stop you or get your head too big, keep fighting, and you’ve definitely got some respect around here.'”
Hilliman probably has the most ground to cover if he wants to make the final, 53-man roster.
Having left the first game and entering the concussion protocol, Hilliman came back in Week 2 and rushed for 56 yards on 16 carries with a 10-yard score. The touchdown came in the fourth quarter to extend the Giants lead to 25-13 over the Chicago Bears.
Big Blue eventually won the game 32-13.
The Giants play their third preseason game on Thursday, Aug. 22 in Cincinnati. It’ll be interesting to see what Hilliman will showcase during the remaining exhibition games en route to a possible roster spot.