Ki-Jana & Saquon, In Stride

It was one of those Twitter moments that even folks who spend a lot of time on Twitter might have missed, a brief conversation between two guys 20-some years apart, but with more than a little in common.


The first tweet came from Ki-Jana Carter ’95, a name that anyone reading this blog should be familiar with. The second came from Saquon Barkley, a young man Penn State fans—and a couple of unfortunate defenses—have learned all about the past two weeks. If one reminds you a bit of the other, you’re probably not alone.

What’s to love about this conversation? Well, everything, of course, but we’re struck by three things in particular: One is the obvious affection an all-time great Nittany Lion still has for his alma mater, 20 years later; another is Barkley’s immediate recognition of his Penn State predecessor, a guy he’d do well to emulate on and off the field.

The last is how it reminded us of a passage from the oral history of the all-conquering ’94 Nittany Lions we published last year. This quote in particular:

“We were all close with each other,” Carter said of his star-studded 1991 recruiting class. “We had no egos. We basically sat down and said, ‘We know what we’ve got here. Before we leave, we want to go undefeated and win a national championship.'”

This is not to put any undue pressure on the 2015 Lions, nor on Barkley in particular. Take it instead as proof of what talent can accomplish when combined with hard work, commitment, and focus. If Barkley and the rest of these young Lions ever need a reminder, good advice from some Penn State legends is only a tweet away.

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