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WATCH: Nick Singleton plays that remind us of Saquon Barkley

He may not be Saquon just yet, but Nick Singleton has many of the same traits.



Nick Singleton
Sep 23, 2017; Iowa City, IA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley (26) warms up before the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

No one was sure what to expect from a true freshman running back behind a questionable offensive line in 2022. Still, that didn’t stop Penn State’s Nick Singleton from having a breakout season in the Blue and White a year ago; in fact, on many runs, Singleton reminded Nittany Lion fans of former Penn State star Saquon Barkley. Here are a few runs that made us double take to make sure we were watching a game from 2022, not 2017.

Nick Singleton break out runs in Week 2

After Penn State football squeaked out a 35-31 win over Purdue in Week 1 of last season, the Nittany Lions returned home to face the Ohio Bobcats (who eventually won the MAC East) for their home opener. Week 2 turned out to be a massive victory for Penn State — the Lions ran away with a 46-10 win to improve to 2-0 — but more importantly, it marked the start of the “Nick Singleton era.”

For the first time in his young career, Singleton proved to be a deadly threat as a power runner and a breakout back in open space. Below is 1:27 of Singleton’s best moments from the Ohio game:

Singleton cooks Auburn

After posting 179 yards and two touchdowns against the Ohio Bobcats, Nick Singleton and the Nittany Lions his the road to face a much tougher opponent: the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Despite the game looking close throughout the first half, Penn State football laid on the gas late and made it a 41-12 ball game all said and done. Just as he did the week before, Singleton put together a great performance with many massive runs.

Singleton goes coast to coast

We all remember when Saquon took the opening kickoff to the house against Ohio State in 2017. Does this look familiar?

Now you see me, now you don’t

Throughout Saquon’s years in the Blue and White, there were many occasions in which he vanished into a mass of bodies at the line of scrimmage, yet still managed to pop out on the other side and gain yards. As a freshman, it’s clear that Nick Singleton has that same ability.

Singleton takes one to the house in the granddaddy of them all

Penn State’s Rose Bowl matchup had many moments that were similar to the Lions’ 2017 Rose Bowl loss; however, this massive run from Singleton gave most Penn State fans some serious flashbacks to Saquon Barkley’s run in his Rose Bowl game six years prior. It may not have been as mind-blowing, but it gave the Nittany Lions an edge and helped Penn State win its second-ever Rose Bowl game.

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Chris Mangum is currently a Penn State student and serves as a writer and editor covering Big Ten athletics. He has served as a beat writer, online reporter, print reporter, and more over the past few years of his career. He currently serves as the managing editor for Basic Blues Nation and others.