Connor Barwin #98 OLB
Height: 6-4 Weight: 264 Age: 27
Born: 10/15/1986 Southfield , MI
Experience: 5th season
High School: University of Detroit HS [MI]
Selected By: Houston Texans
Pick (Overall): 14 (46)
When someone came up with that phrase, "consummate team player," Barwin was the type of athlete they had in mind. He has done everything he could to stay on the field, excelling as a pass rusher, pass catcher and kick blocker for the defense, offense and special team units. Barwin has also played for the Bearcats' basketball team at the conclusion of the football season the last two seasons.
On the football season, he has excelled as a wedge buster on the kickoff return unit, as a gunner on the punt coverage squad, as a kick blocker and a terrific hitter who has delivered bone-jarring tackles on opposing returners. In addition, Barwin proved to be a clutch receiver at the tight end and H-back positions.
Barwin has amassed 40 first downs among his 53 receptions, converting eight third-down snaps and three more on fourth-down throws. Twenty-six of his receptions gained at least 10 yards, with 13 of those grabs for 20 yards or longer. His clutch receptions produced 20 touchdown drives and three other series that ended with Cincinnati field goals.
At the University of Detroit Jesuit High School, Barwin was named the team's Offensive and Defensive Most Valuable Player as a senior. He added All-District, All-League and All-Catholic honors and was rated the state's 17th-best prospect by the Detroit Free Press. He was also selected to play in the East-West All-Star Game.
Barwin added a pair of letters in basketball during his prep days. He garnered second-team All-League honors as a junior, leading the squad to the district title. As a senior, he picked up All-Catholic recognition.
Barwin was one of two true freshmen to letter at Cincinnati in 2005, wearing jersey No 89 and appearing in all 11 games as a reserve tight end. He caught 8 of 14 passes targeted to him, good for 144 yards (18.0 avg), one touchdown and eight first downs. He also posted two solo tackles and recovered one fumble.
After the 2005 football season, Barwin joined the Cincinnati 2005-06 basketball team as a walk-on. He appeared in 18 contests as a reserve, averaging 9.9 minutes per game. He shot 38.9 percent from the field (7 of 18 field goals) and 80 percent from the foul line (4 of 5 free throws). He also pulled down 40 rebounds (2.2 rpg), handed out four assists and blocked three shots.
As a sophomore, the Bearcat Academic Honor Roll selection shared tight end chores with Brent Celek, starting two of the 13 games he appeared in. He ranked sixth on the team, catching 13 of 18 passes targeted to him (opposition deflected three of those attempts) for 148 yards (11.4 avg) and two touchdowns. Nine of his receptions were good for first downs, as he also led the special teams unit with eight solo tackles.
Like he did after his freshman football season, Barwin joined the Bearcats' 2006-07 basketball team. He appeared in 23 games as a swingman, hitting 10 of 23 field goals (43.5 percent) and 7 of 13 free throws (53.8 percent) for 27 points (1.2 ppg). He totaled 31 rebounds (1.4 rpg), had nine blocks and doled out five assists.
In 2007, Barwin played most of the snaps at tight end, even though he did not start any of the 13 games he appeared in. He finished fourth on the team, catching 31 of 41 passes targeted to him for 399 yards (12.9 avg) and two touchdowns. Twenty-two of his receptions were good for first downs. He also delivered three solo tackles, recovered two fumbles, recovered a blocked field goal and gained 18 yards on a blocked punt return.
Changes came on several fronts for the former tight end in 2008. Barwin switched to jersey No. 5 from No. 89, also moving to the other side of the ball as the team's starting right defensive end. The defensive end registered 53 tackles (27 solos) as he led the Big East Conference and ranked seventh in the nation with 12.0 sacks, breaking the NCAA major college single-season record for most sacks by a player in his first season on defense. He paced the team and ranked second in the league with 17.0 stops for losses, led the Bearcats and Big East with 20 quarterback pressures and blocked three kicks while also catching one pass for a 1-yard score.