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Penn State Football Recruiting

2025 Commit Kiandrea Barker on Recruitment: ‘I Just Know that Penn State Was the Only Place that I Wanted to Go To’

Kiandrea Barker Penn State
Photo by Kiandrea Barker’s Twitter account

For over 14 months, Kiandrea Barker has stayed committed to the Penn State Nittany Lions. In fact, the 2025 three-star running back from Beebe, Arkansas is the longest committed player in Penn State’s current Class of 2025.

Back in April of 2023, despite still being heavily recruited and holding offers from Arkansas, Colorado, Florida State, Miami, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri, Pitt, Purdue, SMU, TCU, USC and Wisconsin, Barker decided to shut down his recruitment early and commit to Penn State.

Wednesday morning, Nittany Sports Now reached out to Barker to find out how his summer is going and to look back at the biggest decision of his young life.

“My summer has been really good,” said Barker. “Really, all I’ve been doing is working hard in order to make sure that I’m ready for my upcoming senior season. I’m trying to work on every part of my game in order to get better. There’s not just one specific thing that I’m working on, I’m really trying to get better at everything so that I be ready for the next level. My plan is to graduate early so I’m getting ready for that too. I want to get to Penn State early so that I can be there and help them out for the spring and to make sure that my game is ready.”

The talented 6-foot, 180-pound back looked back to when he decided to officially join the Nittany Lions and although he admits that he would’ve liked to have gone through the recruiting process, Barker always knew his heart was with Penn State.

“I’ve been a Penn State fan since I was a kid. I grew up watching Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders and those two players were really big reasons why I committed there. I saw how Coach Seider developed them and if he developed my favorite players and Penn State was my favorite college, it just felt like the right thing to do.”

RELATED: AFTER ‘AMAZING’ BLUE-WHITE WEEKEND, 4-STAR RB KIANDREA BARKER COMMITS TO PENN STATE

“The recruiting process should be fun for a high school kid because it only comes around once in your life,” said Barker. “In one way, you can look at it like I had it easy because I committed early and didn’t really go through the recruiting process, I just know that Penn State was the only place that I wanted to go to. Other colleges could’ve come after me, but honestly, it wouldn’t have meant anything because I wanted to be a Nittany Lion.”

Actually, plenty of teams did come after Barker following his verbal to James Franklin. Reportedly, hometown Arkansas, USC and Duke really tried hard to get him to make a visit. In order to stop this and try and put an end to teams pursuing him, Barker released a statement last month on June 6th:

I want to thank all the coaches who have recruited me along this process , and all the penn state coaches/ staff that’s been showing love since day with that being said I want to officially announce that all recruitment is shut down for me and I’m all in 110% #weare 🦁

“I did it to just let them know that I’m a hard Penn State commit and that’s where I want to be,” said Barker. “I’ve been locked in and committed to Penn State for over a year and haven’t really thought about any schools and didn’t take any other official visits to any other colleges for that very reason. I think doing that helped.”

I followed up by asking Barker if that stopped schools from contacting him?

“Not really but I don’t talk to them (laughing).”

Barker tells me that he transferred back to the high school that he grew up at and his goal this season is to “go undefeated and get a ring with the boys that I grew up with and then head off to college and try to get to the next level at Penn State.”

RELATED: PENN STATE COMMIT KIANDREA BARKER RANKED IN FIRST TOP247 OF ’25 CYCLE

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