Anthony Barr: “If I were to have to choose today, I would probably stay.”

Anthony Barr talks NFL Draft by thejackwang

Was it hard to get over the Rose Bowl loss?

First couple of days after that loss were tough. We came back as a team, just kind of regrouped, talked about the season and the accomplishments we’ve made. Put that behind us and looked forward to this game. I think we’re all excited. I’m definitely looking forward to it. I’m glad it’s close to home.

How much are you thinking about the talk around declaring for the NFL Draft?

I’m trying not to think about it too much. I know it’s kind of getting to that time. I’m just filtering everything to my mom, letting her handle the phone calls and whatnot. My focus right now is with this team and winning this game. … Three months ago, everybody was asking me how my first game was. Now we’re here. It’s pretty crazy. It is what it is.

Have you looked on Mel Kiper’s Draft Board on ESPN? (Barr is currently listed No. 10)

No, I think you have to be an (ESPN) Insider. I don’t have that inside scoop. I’ve heard some things. He’s not the one who makes the phone call and drafts me.

How much have you talked to your coaches?

I’ve talked with my position coach and Coach Spanos. Those are guys I respect. They’ve been there done that. Just hearing their word and hearing what they’re saying. Obviously they want me to do what’s best for me, for myself. Either way, they support my decision. They said they feel if I do go, they send their best wishes that I do well. If I do come back and help this team next year, I’ll just further develop myself. That’s the big thing, development. It’s not a yes or no, go or stay type of situation.

Is there a certain round projection that would make it a sure for you?

I have no idea. Obviously, first round would be nice. Like I said, that’s a conversation I’ll have after I get that grade.

How much does it help having a coaching staff with so much NFL experience?

It makes it more comfortable, not as unknown. Like I said, they’ve been there, done that. They kind of have that inside scoop. They feed to me what they hear and I trust their opinion.

Are you feeling pressure about whether to stay or go?

I haven’t had that kind of pressure yet. Maybe my mom has. She’s the one getting the phone calls. I try to distance myself from all that. … It’s tough. Everybody blowing up the phone and social media and all that. It’s good when you have a coaching staff like this and your teammates to talk to about it, and parents. I have so much support. It could be way worse.

Would you miss the UCLA atmosphere if you leave?

Definitely. I love UCLA. It’s brought me this far. I appreciate what this school’s done. It would be tough if I were to go.

Are you leaning toward staying or leaving?

Not really. The grade’s the next step. that’s gonig to tell me one way or another. I guess if I were to have to choose today, I would probably stay.

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  • drakejr

    I think a top 10 pick is an overly ambitious projection. But it’s Kiper, he gets paid to be interesting, not right.

  • Please don’t go. Ha. If he’s a 1st rounder he has to go. He might not ever be as hot as he is now.

  • sam

    If he can be a top-10 pick, he needs to go. As much as I would LOVE for him to stay, everybody knows he has to go this year.

  • x

    The hype machine has barely gotten rolling yet. Wait until February when agents have been whispering in his ear for months. It’ll be a different story then.

  • maze949

    I think Basketball had a game today.

  • slappy ray

    Key operative word is development. Only one year of playing linebacker. Still has much room to grow & improve his playing skills. He’s much more than a hot player on a roll. His raw playing abilities at the linebacking position is off the charts. One more season, his senior season will guarantee that Barr will be the first lnebacker taken in the 2014 NFL draft & most likely a top ten pick. Stay Anthony one more season!

    • drakejr

      Agreed. That’s why I don’t think he’s a good first round pick. He’s not yet ready to start in the NFL. First round picks are used to fill immediate needs, not for somebody who will someday be ready to start. Could he be a first round pick based on potential? Absolutely. But he needs more development. With that, his prospects are very good.