Jay Paterno compares Penn State's Saquon Barkley to Evan Royster, says fans should 'slow down' with regard to Christian Hackenberg

By Bob Flounders | bflounders@pennlive.com

Jay Paterno meets Penn State fans at Arooga's in West Hanover Township before heading to a nearby book signing on September 24, 2015. Paterno is the author of the book, "Paterno Legacy: Enduring Lessons From the Life and Death of my Father." Dan Gleiter, PennLive.com

Jay Paterno, the former Penn State quarterbacks coach and son of the late Joe Paterno, stopped at a Harrisburg-area Arooga's Thursday night for a meet-and-greet with Lions fans.

Jay touched on a variety of subjects during a chat with PennLive and there will be plenty to get to on Friday.

But for now I wanted to share Jay's thoughts on a couple of young Penn State players because the former PSU coach doesn't miss a Lions game.

The two players? True freshman runner Saquon Barkley and quarterback Christian Hackenberg, now in his third year as starting quarterback.

Barkley enters Saturday's home game with San Diego State with two consecutive 100-yard games.

He has been compared to a couple of Penn State greats — Curt Warner and Larry Johnson — by some.

Jay Paterno said Barkley reminds him of another Lions back.

"Everybody wants to compare (Barkley) to someone and I hate to even do that,'' Paterno said.

"But in terms of his movement, change of direction and body control, he reminds me a lot of Evan Royster.

"He's very compact, even on a wet field, you don't see him slip but it's so early that we'll see what happens. I think he's obviously excited the fan base.''


Hackenberg has yet to deliver a big game in terms of yards this season and the QB was sacked 10 times in the Lions' season-opening 27-10 loss to Temple in Philadelphia.

But Paterno said the 2013 Big Ten Freshman of the Year was due to experience some growing pains.

"Last summer, before (Hackenberg's) sophomore year, I was talking to a couple of people and I said, 'You guys need to slow down a little bit','' Paterno said.

"Because the first time through the (Big Ten) league, nobody has a book on him. Christian is going to be a guy that everybody's going to study him in the offseason. 

"Does he tip this throw? Does he tip that throw? And you kinda get a feel for that.

"And I felt like, you know, it was going to be tough for his second year. ... That's reality. But I think he's doing fine. Temple was ready for that football game.''


About Arooga’s

Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar is an innovative full-service casual restaurant and bar with a sports and entertainment focus that combines exceptional food and beverages, with unique concepts, and proprietary operational strategies. Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar was founded in July 2008, and currently operates nine corporate locations in Central Pennsylvania and its first franchise location in Uncasville, Connecticut, adjacent to Mohegan Sun. Arooga’s founders are taking the “unique sports and entertainment restaurant & bar” concept national and are offering franchising opportunities to qualified multi-unit candidates. For more information, visit www.aroogas.com.


Derek Farley
DFPR for Arooga’s

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Release Date: 
Friday, September 25, 2015