LaVar Arrington talks Saquon Barkley's Heisman campaign, '17 Nittany Lions
LaVar Arrington is outspoken, prideful and a darn good former Penn State and NFL linebacker.
He's also this week's guest on "Five Questions."
Arrington — a two-time All-American, three-time Pro-Bowler and North Hills graduate — joined us to discuss Saquon Barkley's Heisman chances, Marcus Allen's NFL outlook and more.
Q: First I've got to ask you about Saturday's game. Where were you watching, and what were your emotions like?
A: I was on my couch watching, and my emotions were just excitement. Just really excited about the coaching staff, the team, the excitement of the community. I mean, I don't want to speak out of turn and get too far ahead, but this has the makings of a tremendous run again. Not to mention just a tremendous run this year, but the stage is set.
Just in case you need something that'll start your Monday on a good note... pic.twitter.com/nf4tj9ewMj— Onward State (@OnwardState) September 25, 2017
The type of belief that this Penn State group has from top to bottom, the belief is there. The attitude of dominance is there. The attitude of, "We can overcome anything against all odds." It's just evident and there with this group. It's exciting to watch. You have a feeling of pride because it's taken a lot for us to get to where we are.
Q: Saquon Barkley put up just an unreal performance with 358 all-purpose yards. Is he going to win the Heisman? Because that looked like a Heisman performance.
A: It was a Heisman performance. You know, I think the interesting thing about that is you have to keep doing it. That's the one thing about the Heisman; it's a week-to-week thing. You've got to keep building it up. There's always that one game. Is it Michigan? Is it Ohio State? It's one way or the other. He'll win the Heisman in those two games. Is he going to win the Heisman? He's going to win the Heisman versus Ohio State and Michigan.
Q: You played in the NFL for quite some time. Is there any running back you played against, scouted or watched that you'd compare Barkley to?
A: I think he's unique in a lot of ways. I think the way he runs and the way he's built, he looks a like the way Ki-Jana (Carter) used to play, and that was my teammate — not just a hero and an alum. I didn't play with him at Penn State, but I did when we were in D.C. He runs with speed, and his pad level that he plays at and his movement is a lot like Ki-Jana.
On Saquon Barkley:'If it's not a quarterback to win the Heisman, it's going to be this guy. This guy's unreal.'-GolicRT if you agree. pic.twitter.com/YSGkB2CBHk— Mike & Mike (@MikeAndMike) September 22, 2017
That was like the dopest running back I remember watching during the Penn State days. There are a lot of Penn State running backs that were awesome, but Saquon is in a league of his own in a lot of ways. I thought, as a fan, that Ki-Jana should've won the Heisman that year (in 1994). There's no doubt about it; he should've won the Heisman. Larry Johnson could be in the conversation as a guy who could've brought the Heisman home. (Barkley) by far, hands down, is Penn State's best chance to getting that second Heisman back to Penn State since Ki-Jana.
Q: Outside of the two obvious guys — Barkley and Trace McSorley — who's the one player you love to watch on this current team?
A: Marcus Allen and Shareef (Miller) and (Jason) Cabinda. You know what, it's not one guy. That's what's so dope about this team. (Mike) Gesicki is a bad boy at tight end. I like all of them. I know their defensive end was wearing our tackle (Will Fries) out, but I like the way our offensive line looks physically.
Marcus Allen is a special player and probably under appreciated. Great form here to force a key fumble. pic.twitter.com/XBxt4ReBw1— Greg Pickel (@GregPickel) September 24, 2017
Those were some trees, and you're always going to be in a fight against a team like Iowa. You just are. But I like the way our offensive line looks. I love the linebackers' play; Manny (Bowen) is a freaking animal. I love watching our team. ... If I had to narrow it down to one and say, "This is my one," I'd probably have to defer because right now Shareef is blowing me away with the way he's playing and Marcus Allen is the best safety in college football. Some would say the guy out of Florida State (Derwin James), but when you talk about the intangibles that Marcus Allen brings to this team, he's amazing. He is freaking amazing. I love Marcus Allen.
Q: How do you think Marcus Allen will translate to the league?
A: He's going to be a mega-star in the league. He's a star now, but he will be a mega-star in the National Football League.