Loyola running back/linebacker/??? Anthony Barr was away for the week but we had a chance to talk tonight, and, well, he’s a great kid. Very focused, very driven, very certain that UCLA is his best chance to make it as a football player.
He is still unsure of his eventual position at UCLA (hence the ???) but I could see him being a superb safety or linebacker, if the Bruins put him on the defensive side of the ball. At 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, he has the frame to add plenty of weight and muscle and though he suffered a broken leg in his senior season, he expects to make an impact quickly.
Here is his Scout.com profile – Barr – and check out the interview after the jump.
Inside UCLA: Why UCLA? What put them over the top?Anthony Barr: “I just feel like that’s the school that’s going to best fit me and best suit me hopefully for an NFL career – and for a career past football. I’m real comfortable with the coaches. Coach Chow staying was a huge impact in my decision – it’s saying something that they’re going somewhere. He could’ve jumped ship and left. That stood out to me; that was a big reason. I just found that comfort. There was a lot of questions about how I would fit into (Notre Dame Coach Brian) Kelly’s system, and I was just very comfortable with the coaches here.”
JG: I know you met with Coach Neuheisel to discuss your college position, how did that work out?
AB: “We’re going to sort of wait until everyone is signed and maybe spring to sort of make that position a final. As for now, it’s still sort of trying out where I’m going to fit. I always want to be on the field. I just want to be where ever I can be on the field – not only the fastest, but where I can maximize my potential.”
JG: How important is it for UCLA to land not just big-time recruits in positions of need, but athletes such as yourself?
AB: “It’s a compliment to know that I can fill any role that the school is going to put me in. I feel like they sort of spearheaded the way for me. A lot of guys are going to want to play on what I think is going to be a great team.”
JG: As a local kid, you see what’s going on over at USC – has the time come for the Bruins to challenge in Los Angeles?
AB: “That’s what we’re trying to do. USC has been great, stable for so long. But I think it’s time for a change. All the guys who are coming in feel like we can make that difference.”
JG: How is your leg rehab going?AB: “I feel a lot better. Rehab and everything is going real well. If I just stick with that and get stronger and work out, I think I could see myself playing next year.”
JG: Are you participating in track and field for Loyola?AB: “No, I don’t think I’ll be able to.”
JG: Do you see UCLA landing more major recruits as the recruiting period comes to a close? How good of a recruiter is Coach Neuheisel?
AB: “Yeah, definitely. We have a good chance at landing a lot of these guys, some big names at the wire. Part of the reason is we can relate to him. He understands what kids think and what we want. I definitely see us landing some big-time names before signing day is over.”