Josh Barrett (S)
Regarded by the ASU staff as one of the finest safeties to ever play at the university, Barrett was plagued with an assortment of injuries throughout his senior campaign, missing the final two contests with a knee sprain. Built more along the lines of an outside linebacker, his exceptional range and quickness has NFL teams that feature the Cover-2 scheme hoping to see him line him up in their secondary in 2008.
One of eight active Sun Devils to have earned his undergraduate degree prior to his senior season, Barrett has also received Pac-10 Conference academic honors. It is fitting that he hopes to one day become a dentist, as he spent his last four years drilling any receiver that dared to come into his area. With his 4.35 clocking in the 40-yard dash, he is the Sun Devils' fastest player to ever wear a defensive uniform.
Barrett attended Reno High School, where he was selected the Northern Class 4A Football Player of the Year in Nevada in 2002. He was a member of the Las Vegas Sun All-State team on offense and as a returner. He garnered first-team All-Region honors at wide receiver, defensive back and return specialist as a senior, as he also earned Sierra League first-team honors and was the Conference Player of the Year.
A first-team All-Sierra League selection at defensive back, receiver and as a returner, Barrett also made All-League as a running back. He rushed for 490 yards on 60 carries and scored five touchdowns. He also caught 22 passes for 365 yards and five more scores while making five interceptions in his final year. He returned seven kicks and punts for touchdowns and scored four times on interception returns during his career.
As a junior, Barrett was named to the All-Nevada Class 4A and All-Northern Region second-team as a returner, adding All-Sierra League first-team honors. He also played basketball as a junior and senior and lettered three times in track, in addition to playing baseball as a sophomore. He captained the football and basketball teams as a senior and graduated with a 3.4 grade-point average.
Barrett made his debut at Arizona State in the season opener vs. Northern Arizona in 2003, but suffered a right shoulder injury that would sideline him for the rest of the schedule. The shoulder injury limited him to 10 games (four starts) in 2004. He managed 17 tackles (12 solos) with two fumble recoveries and an interception.
The sophomore strong safety started two of 12 games for the Sun Devils in 2005. He posted 37 tackles (26 solos) with a sack, three stops for losses and four pass break-ups. He also had one interception. Adding more than 10 pounds of muscle to his frame, he took over strong safety chores in 2006. He was named the team's Defensive MVP, adding Academic All-Pac 10 Conference honors while collecting a team-high 82 tackles (58 solos). He had 7.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, three interceptions and six deflected passes to go along with a fumble recovery.
Barrett started eight of 11 games he appeared in during 2007, as he was benched for three games earlier in the campaign due to his injury issues, including a pectoral muscle strain, a quad contusion and a right knee sprain. He managed just 38 tackles (25 solos), along with a sack and four stops for losses. He recovered a fumble, broke up seven passes and intercepted another.
Attended Reno (Nev.) High School, playing football for head coach Dan Avansino... Selected the Northern Class 4A Football Player of the Year in Nevada in 2002...Member of the Las Vegas Sun All-State team on offense and as a returner...Garnered first-team All-Region honors at wide receiver, defensive back and return specialist as a senior, as he also earned Sierra League first-team honors and was the Conference Player of the Year...
A first-team All-Sierra League selection at defensive back, receiver and as a returner, Barrett also made All-League as a running back...Rushed for 490 yards on 60 carries and scored five touchdowns...Also caught 22 passes for 365 yards and five more scores while making five interceptions in his final year...Returned seven kicks and punts for touchdowns and scored four times on interception returns during his career...As a junior, he was named to the All-Nevada Class 4A and All-Northern Region second-team as a returner, adding All-Sierra League first-team honors...Also played basketball as a junior and senior and lettered three times in track...Played baseball as a sophomore...Captained the football and basketball teams as a senior, as he graduated with a 3.4 grade-point average.
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Positives: Has a tall frame with decent overall muscle definition and long arms, but appears a bit lean in the lower body...Plays at a low pad level, keeping the action in front of him, but will struggle coming out of his breaks due to stiff hips...Shows good acceleration closing on the ball, running with good balance and body control coming up to make plays along the line...Has a good closing burst on action in front of him (struggles to get back on the route when the receiver gets behind him)...Is quick to close on the ball, when he locates it, but is very inconsistent when reading keys and bites often on play action...Has good field intelligence and won't have issues digesting a complicated playbook...Better playing in the box, as he likes to make plays in front of him (loses sight of the ball when playing deep)...Takes good angles on the move and has more than enough speed to run with the tight ends and covers receivers better than most safeties, when he comes out of his breaks cleanly and doesn't yield a big cushion...Loses some of his quickness when he gets flat-footed in his backpedal, but is quick to close when coming up in run force...Adjusts well to the receiver's moves in the route and when he sees the pass leave the quarterback's hands, he has the burst to get a good jump on the ball (will bite on play-action, though)... Anticipates the receiver's moves well when trailing and it is rare to see him under-play the ball when in zone coverage...Has good body adjustment skills to get under the thrown ball, but needs to time his leaps better to high point it...Has the range and speed to chase down plays going long distances (will struggle turning out of his breaks, but can stay on the hip of a receiver when mirroring)...Hands are suspect in attempts to make the interception, but he uses them well in attempts to reroute short-area receivers or shed blocks vs. tight ends...Plays under control and takes good angles to shorten the field and reduce the ball carrier's cut back lanes...Needs to get more physical with bigger blockers (likes to avoid), but does have the quickness to take a wide loop and pressure the pocket on the blitz...Not the type who will use his hidden strength to physically punish an opponent, but does generate enough force to bring the ball carrier down in isolated situations...Smart and instinctive enough to make the defensive calls...Has a knack for getting his hands into a receiver's jersey to reroute his opponent without getting caught...Also uses those hands well to ward off low blocks when working down the line...Has the hand strength to lock on and drag down the receiver (opponent will slip past when he gives a side, though)...Effective gunner on special teams...When playing in the box, he demonstrates the pursuit angles and range to string plays wide.
Negatives: Has an even proportioned, big frame, but is at maximum growth potential and any more weight will impact his impressive timed speed...Despite his timed speed, he has just adequate foot quickness and body control in his backpedal...Lacks suddenness closing on plays in front of him and is a little tight in his hips, as he is not able to suddenly plant and drive out of his breaks (gathers some)...Has good leaping ability, but like former ASU standout Adam Archuletta, he has poor timing on those jumps, failing to make proper adjustments to get under the ball or reach it at its high point...Has the frame of a linebacker, but it is rare to see him generate a lot of power behind his hits...Has impressive workout numbers, but they fail to translate to the football field (averaged just 3.7 tackles per game during his career)...Can close on the ball in front of him, but needs to drive harder with his legs and extend his arms to properly wrap and secure the ballcarrier (will dive at runners or take a side rather than square up)...Does not have the recovery burst to get back on the route when the receiver gets behind him...Not an instinctive player, making poor reads (or late) at times and is prone to biting on play-action...Must develop looser hips, as he struggles when redirecting and changing direction...Allows too much of a cushion vs. short-area receivers, who just settle into soft spots in front of him...Plays too flat-footed and is too rigid in his turns to come out of his cuts with a sudden burst... Has a litany of injury problems that lead to durability issues...For a player of his size, he tends to try to out-finesse blockers rather than attack them with aggression...Must show better consistency, as he will disappear for long stretches on the field and simply throttles down when not involved in the action (this, more so than injuries, led to a three-game benching in 2007).
Compares To: ADAM ARCHULETTA-Chicago...Just like Notre Dame's Tom Zbikowski and Archuletta, Barrett is a workout warrior who will greatly impress a team with his athletic ability, but all three fall under the "looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane" category. He has the size that the football gods would wish for all safeties, yet needs to be prodded to play up to that level at a consistent pace. He has a litany of injuries throughout his career that makes you wonder if Alan Alda and the M*A*S*H unit is going to be needed on the sideline. It is humorous that some experts compare him to Washington's LaRon Landry. While impressive athletically, he lacks the power, football intelligence, consistency and ability to change the tide of the game the way Landry does.
2003: Suffered a right shoulder separation vs. Northern Arizona (9/06) in the season opener, missing the rest of the year. ... Did not play vs. California (10/30) and Stanford (11/06) games with a right shoulder contusion.
2007: Suffered a pectoral muscle strain vs. San Diego State (9/15)...Suffered a quad contusion vs. Oregon State (9/22)...Left the Southern California contest (11/22) and sat out the final two games vs. Arizona (12/01) and Texas (12/27) with a right knee sprain.
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Q & A
- Growing up, who was your favorite NFL player and why?
- Emmitt Smith. I loved the way he ran and the Super Bowls his team won.
- In college, what player hit you the hardest? Who was the recipient of your best hit?
- UCLA DB No. 1 Verner. Maurice Jones-Drew
- What TV-show marathon will keep you on the couch all day?
- What are the five most-played songs in your iPod? What's the one song you hope nobody ever finds out is in your iPod?
- No iPod. I enjoy an ececlitc mix of music from jazz to hip-hop.
- What celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life and why?
- Will Smith. He has similar physical features and a dynamic personality.
- What is one thing your teammates don't know about you?
- Very little -- probably my music preferences.
- What reality TV show would you like to be on and why?
- Survivor. It is challenging, dramatic, adventurous and competitive.
- What's your proudest moment in football? Proudest moment off the field?
- Winning. Graduating from college.
- When you play Madden, what team do you use? Do you put yourself on the team?
- Not one specific team. I seldom put myself on a team.
- Who has been the biggest influence on your football career and how?
- My teammates pushed and motivated me to win.