August 01, 2018
By: Kristi Fulkerson
It’s no secret I’m a pretty big NY Giants fan and I don’t think anyone missed the fact that Coplay’s own Saquon Barkley was drafted No. 2 overall by the Big Blue. Lucky for me, that meant I got the best.assignment.ever — attend training camp and do a feature on the former Whitehall Zephyr as he begins his pro career. Yes please!
It’s a quick 90 minute trip to the NYG complex in East Rutherford, NJ where we (myself and fellow reporter Cassie Schmidt — who did a story on the Saquon fan craze) began the day shooting podium interviews with first year Head Coach Pat Shurmur and a few players before heading out to practice. I’ll admit, we get to do some cool stories and interview some top notch athletes in this profession but for me, going to Giants camp ranks up there at the top. I grew up in northeastern PA and rooted for the Giants since I can remember (both my brother and I) — which has always made life interesting in PA, the land of Birds fans. 2017 was pretty much insufferable! There’s nothing worse than your team going 3-13 coupled with your least favorite team winning the SuperBowl. The good news is that 2018 is a fresh start and Saquon Barkley is here to save the day. Just kidding. (But he should help.)
After getting a lot of good video of the No. 26 rookie Thursday (and dripping with sweat by the end of the day), I went back to camp Friday when Saquon was available to the media for the first time. It was a great chance to hear how he’s adapting to life in the pros and learning from some great teammates. (His words not mine). From what I could tell, he fit in pretty well on the field and hopefully continues to progress in the coming weeks. Saquon’s offensive teammates and coaches commended his work ethic and attitude, while his defensive counterparts admit covering him is a pain — so that’s a win so far for the rookie.
Thinking back to when Saquon was drafted by the Giants in April (thanks Cleveland), I remember being among the fans pumped by the addition. Beyond that, it was moreso exciting to see an athlete you covered in high school burst onto the professional scene like he has.
Barkley is actually the second Lehigh Valley running back in the last five NFL Drafts to be selected by the Giants, joining Parkland’s Andre Williams (2014 - Boston College) — a fact I’m thrilled to have benefitted from. Shooting video of Eli Manning throwing passes to Odell Beckham, Jr. would never get old, plus it was pretty cool capturing some of the first reps between the veteran QB and our Lehigh Valley rookie. Even though no one would’ve known — I mean, I’m a pro guys! — deep down I was smiling pretty big and enjoying every minute of it. There’s nothing better than when work and play collide!
See my TV2 story from Giants Training Camp here: