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#CFBTop25: No. 2, Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

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Doug Benc/Associated Press

Scouts will tell you Saquon Barkley has everything they look for in a running back.

Last we saw him, he was shredding USC's defense for 194 yards in the Rose Bowl, and the expectation for him this season is to pick up where he left off. He rushed for 1,496 yards last season, a Penn State sophomore record, and he's become a viral sensation this offseason thanks to his weight-room exploits.

There are just three running backs who've won the Heisman Trophy in the past 17 years, but Barkley has the potential to find himself in the thick of the race to win the award this season. October matchups against Michigan and Ohio State could prove to be determinative.

Pulling back the curtain on the vote

Barkley received votes from all seven CFB 24/7 experts, including one No. 1 vote. He's one of nine players who received a vote from every analyst, and he's the highest-rated non-QB in the #CFBTop25 countdown.

CFB 24/7 is marking the days to the start of the 2017 season by counting down the top 25 players in college football.

What some of our analysts are saying about Barkley

"Barkley is the best running back in college football. He has an ideal blend of size, speed and versatility." -- Daniel Jeremiah

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"Rock-solid runner with explosive athletic traits and home-run ability. Barkley has "100/1,000" potential (100 receptions/1,000 rushing yards) as a hybrid RB1 in the backfield." -- Bucky Brooks

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"He's been consistently productive throughout his career, but his performance vs. USC in the Rose Bowl exhibited true dominance. Power (squats more than 600 pounds), vision, speed -- he has it all." -- Charles Davis

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"Barkley's ability on the field reminds me of Ezekiel Elliott, although Barkley has a little less power. He can play all three downs and has terrific elusiveness and consistent play speed." -- Lance Zierlein

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"Barkley is an elusive and strong back who's able to carry the mail and break off the big play. He figures large in Penn State's return to national prominence." -- Chad Reuter

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"There isn't a more fun back to watch in college football, primarily because Barkley makes the first tackler miss as a matter of routine." -- Chase Goodbread

Where do fans rank Barkley?

We asked Twitter users who they considered the best player in college football. Barkley received the most support, finishing first in the fan vote. Given all the hype the top quarterbacks in college football have received this offseason, it was a bit surprising to see a non-QB finish on top, but Barkley is certainly deserving of the designation.

Follow College Football 24/7 on Twitter @NFL_CFB.



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