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Giants Now: Saquon's HS jersey to be retired


Saquon Barkley to have high school jersey retired this fall

Giants star running back Saquon Barkley has achieved some impressive accomplishments already in his young football career, and in a few weeks he is will be honored for some of his earliest feats on the gridiron.

The Whitehall-Coplay School District and the Whitehall High School athletic department recently announced that Barkley's No. 21 jersey will be retired at halftime of a game at Zephyr Stadium on Sep. 10.

In his senior year at Whitehall back in 2014, Barkley rushed for 1,851 yards and 24 touchdowns on his way to being voted the winner of the Mr. Pennsylvania Football Award for Classes 3A and 4A . He finished his high school career with 3,642 yards on 455 carries, good for an average of 8.0 yards per attempt, to go with 50 rushing scores.

Barkley also had 39 receptions for 568 yards and eight receiving scores, and added one interception return for a TD, one punt return TD, and one kickoff return TD.

He will become the third NFL player to graduate from Whitehall and have his high school jersey retired, joining Matt Millen and Dan Koppen.

"The opportunity to honor Saquon for outstanding accomplishments throughout his Zephyr football career is something we have been anxious to do," said Bob Hartman, Whitehall's athletic director. "Saquon's career through high school, college and the NFL has been on the same path as Matt and Danny. We are looking forward to an amazing night hosting Saquon, his family, friends and coaches."

As we know, Barkley would go on to play at Penn State, where he had an illustrious three-year career with the Nittany Lions. He racked up numerous awards and honors while at Penn State, including Consensus All-American (2017), the Paul Hornung Award (2017), and twice being named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year (2016, 2017), just to name a few.

The Giants then selected the running back with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Barkley would go on to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award that season after finishing the year with over 2,000 total yards and 15 touchdowns. He would once again top the 1,000-yard rushing mark in 2019, becoming the first player in franchise history to rush for over 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons.

Pro Football Focus takeaways vs. Browns

Following two days of joint practices in Cleveland, the Giants took on the Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday afternoon in Week 2 of the preseason schedule.

Many Giants starters did not play in this contest, allowing for some of the team's younger players to get some extended action. Despite the 17-13 loss, several players put up strong performances in the team's second preseason game.

Here are some Pro Football Focus takeaways from Giants vs. Browns.

Let's start on defense. Quincy Wilson played 33 defensive snaps on Sunday, including 24 in coverage. He finished the game with the Giants' only interception and led the defense with an 81.7 overall grade. Wilson's 79.5 coverage grade was also the highest on the team.

Oshane Ximines was on the field for 29 snaps at outside linebacker and showed a glimpse of why the organization has been excited for his return following last year's injury. Ximines had five total pressures against the Browns, including one sack, two quarterback hits and two hurries. His 80.2 overall grade was second on the defense behind Wilson, while he led the unit with an elite 86.7 pass rush grade.

Two other young members of the Giants' secondary earned PFF's praise- Julian Love (73.1 overall grade, 83.2 tackling grade on 24 snaps) and Xavier McKinney (70.8 overall grade, 79.5 tackling grade on 10 snaps).

On the offensive side of the ball, undrafted rookie center Brett Heggie earned the highest grade with an 82.8 overall grade on 11 snaps. Heggie performed well in both areas of the offense, receiving a 76.5 pass block grade and 78.2 run block grade.

Running back Devontae Booker was next up with a 77.1 overall grade on 16 snaps, including a 75.1 run grade. Booker rushed the ball six times for 27 yards (4.5 yards per carry) and a touchdown while adding two receptions for another 13 yards.

Several offensive linemen enjoyed solid days, including center Jonotthan Harrison (70.7 overall grade, 75.8 run blocking grade on 63 snaps), right tackle Chad Slade (68.8 overall grade, 69.7 run block grade on 56 snaps), and left guard Kenny Wiggins (80.9 pass blocking grade on 59 snaps).

EVERY photo from Giants vs. Browns

The Giants wrapped up their time in Cleveland on Sunday, falling to the Browns 17-13.

Check out the gallery below to view EVERY photo of Giants vs. Browns in the second week of the preseason, starting with the flight to Cleveland, to arriving at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday, to pregame warmups all the way through the final whistle of the game.

Check out the best photos from the Giants' preseason contest against the Cleveland Browns.

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