Barkley’s rare combination of speed and strength made him a viral sensation at Penn State, both on the field and in the weight room. It followed him to the NFL Combine, where he put together one of the all-time best all-around showcases in front of scouts.
When Barkley threw out the first pitch at a Yankee Stadium after being drafted No. 2 overall by the Giants, photos of his quad muscles circulated social media. Giants teammate Odell Beckham popularized the nickname Saquads, which appears to be sticking.
Barkley wore a jersey with Saquads on the back during the Landon Collins Celebrity Softball Game to benefit the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund.
Mater Dei (New Monmouth, N.J.) rising junior Clarence Lewis showed up for the second half of the East Coast Elite Camp and earned an offer due to his length (6-0, 180), long arms, athletic frame, and testing results. Lewis participated in a few one-on-ones, as well. Rutgers becomes the second school to offer, following Virginia Tech, which offered over a week ago at a camp at Monmouth. And Monday, Kent State became the third schoool to offer, as it had its entire staff on site for the camp.
NJ Advance Media caught up with Lewis at the event prior to his workout, and he was pumped for the opportunity to compete. Ultimately, he did what he showed up to do, leading to he and his mom being walked to their car by head coach Chris Ash following the event, and being extended an offer.
I didn’t do enough in spring training to kind of push them into putting me on the team, LeBlanc said. It’s as simple as that. Their evaluation in spring training was spot on. I wasn’t very good. So anybody that’s saying that the Yankees missed on somebody… all they had to go off of was what they saw in spring training.
Still, just two days later after being let go by the Yanks, LeBlanc signed a guaranteed one-year, $650,000 deal for a second stint with another of his former clubs, as the Mariners were looking for a veteran reliever after losing righty David Phelps for the season in March with a torn UCL.
You go where you think the opportunity is best, and if it’s not, you kind of audible out and see what else is out there, said LeBlanc, a 33-year-old from Louisiana.
No one, not even LeBlanc, imagined what would happen next.
His season got off to a poor start, as he pitched to a 4.61 ERA over five April relief outings for Seattle, then he went on the best roll of his career after replacing injured righty Erasmo Ramirez in the rotation on May 3.