This is not going to be the same for Saquon Barkley. The Giants pre-season game tonight won’t have the 100,000 fans he had the last time he was on the football field in Penn State. Tonight will be more subdued.
However you don’t even need to go to online betting to know it’s going to be special for the rookie.
“I’m big on living in the moment,” Barkley said, “and I think probably (tonight) or (tomorrow) morning, that’s when the nerves and the excitement will start kicking in. And then I’ll be able to go out there and finally live my dream, finally being able to put on a Giants uniform and go out there and play for the New York Giants and play in the NFL. That’s going to be a moment that you never forget. I hope I can go out there and maximize every opportunity I get.”
All eyes are going to be on Barkley, because he’s the No 2 overall pick and expected to be the best Giants running back since Tiki Barber. All of that makes the rookie the main man in the preseason, because everyone wants to see if he’s is the real deal.
“I’m definitely anxious,” Barkley said. “It’s a real game, it’s an NFL game. It’s live, full contact, and I’m just trying to go out there and take every rep that I can to try to maximize my effort. It’s also the first time you put yourself on film. Teams are going to watch that and teams are going to study off of that. So you want to go out there and definitely maximize it.”
So will second round pick Will Hernandez, who is expected to be a centerpiece of the Giants revamped offensive line and creating holes for Barkley.
“I’m sure when I first go out there, I’ll have that little moment,” Hernandez said. “Once the uniform comes on and we get ready to play, then it’s just all football from there.
“You definitely always get (butterflies), but I use them more for energy than anything. I think it’s good to have that feeling, because then it means something to you. Once you get out there, you can’t let those butterflies or nerves or whatever take you off your game. Definitely get them.”
Both Barkley and Hernandez are expected to be starters this year and have gotten most of their reps with the veterans. Tonight they will now face live competition in the Browns.
“All we’ve been doing so far is practicing against ourselves,” he said. “It’s definitely exciting when you get to go against different competition and not just different competition, but NFL players. It’s completely different and new to me and I’m very excited to play.”
And Giants Nations is excited to see them.