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Penn State Football: Franklin Happy To Have Problem With Both Barkley And Sanders In Backfield

by on February 03, 2016 2:00 PM

Miles Sanders probably thought he was going to be the running back of Penn State's future.

And he still is.

But then Saquon Barkley happened. A freshman star that went from backing up Akeel Lynch to one of the most electric running backs in the country seemingly overnight. So where does Penn State's coveted running back prospect fit into the mix?

According to James Franklin, right in the backfield next to Barkley, a 1,000 yard rusher already despite missing multiple games due to injury in 2015.

"If you look around college football right now and you look in the NFL, you need multiple backs," Franklin said on Signing Day. "You're going to need three backs that you can depend on."

"You look at the programs like Penn State, they're going to go out and sign significant players at the same position every single year. And you have to embrace competition. You have to embrace the ability to come in and compete. I think in a lot of ways the success that Saquon had this year I think was actually a positive, because Miles could see himself having success like that and knowing that we were going to need multiple backs that are elite to help us go where we want to go."

Sanders comes to Penn State ranked the nation's top running back for the 2016 class, which in turn brings with him plenty of hype and expectations. In many ways though the timing is perfect, Penn State will break in new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead and a new quarterback this upcoming season. Few things can make that transition much smoother than handing the ball off to two talented running backs. There's no need to press the issue in the passing game if you can force your will by simply running it.

But of course, as Franklin is quick to remind everyone, rankings are earned in high school. Playing time at the collegiate level has to be earned as well.

"All the rankings are great, and Miles has earned those things," Franklin added. "But he's going to come to Penn State and have to earn them again."

Oh, and don't forget the rest of the crew. Mark Allen, Nick Scott and Andre Robinson.

Not the worst problem to have.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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