GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 30: Running back Saquon Barkley #26 of the Penn State Nittany Lions walks on the field during the first half of the Playstation Fiesta Bowl against the Washington Huskies at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 30, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

If it weren’t for the COVID-19 outbreak, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley was to be a coach at his alma mater this spring.

Saquon Barkley on Penn State’s staff? In spite of the fact that it’s only been a few years since his playing days at the university, the New York Giants running back was to be a coach for his former football squad this spring. That’s, of course, before COVID-19 rained on the parade and canceled Penn State’s scheduled March 18-April 18 spring camp.

“Saquon reached out to me and his plan was to come and spend spring ball with us as a coach,” Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin told Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. “He wanted to sit in all of the coaches meetings to see how we came up with the game plan, how we watch film and all the things we discuss.

“He wanted to be able to learn football and view it through a different lens because he thought that would help his growth, and he’d be able to go back and have a bigger impact with the Giants. He could see how coaches assess things and why.”

Barkley obviously underwent a successful collegiate career that led to the Giants selecting him No. 2 overall in 2018. Despite some fans wanting a quarterback in that draft, such as Sam Darnold or Josh Allen, many rejoiced over the selection of the Penn State back.

The star player was a two-time winner of the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Award, but didn’t possess the unnecessary know-it-all attitude according to Franklin.

“He is very curious about a lot of different things,” Franklin said. “Throughout Saquon’s college experience and afterwards, he is very observant. He is asking a lot of questions. Whenever your best player is also your strongest culture-driver behind the scenes, it’s a recipe for success.”

It’s very much unclear if the upcoming college football season will occur exactly as planned amid the troubles stemming from this pandemic. Nonetheless, I’m sure Penn State fans, and all college football fans for that matter, will take the season any way they can get it.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.