Looks Like University Of Illinois - Tarique Barnes

Feb 02, 2019

I paid $8 for wifi on this flight just so I could write this post. Why? Did I need wifi? Because I couldn't remember Tarique Barnes' name. I had it as Tyrik Black in my head. But that's the name of the Michigan wide receiver. I guess I could have written the post with a bunch of {insert player name here} place holders and said things like "it's nice to add {insert player name here} to the linebacker room - things were a bit thin there, and having Shammond Cooper and {insert player name here} builds a lot of future depth". but I know I would have forgotten to go back and replace all of the inserts.

So, it's nice to add Tarique Barnes to the linebacker room - things were a bit thin there, and having Shammond Cooper and Tarique Barnes builds a lot of future depth. I've gone back and forth on this linebacker depth thing and I think I'm back to comfortable? Here's a rundown.

This time last year: "Uh, with Julian Jones and Tre Watson transferring, we are really, really thin at linebacker. To make matters worse, Merlin Robertson and Ayodele Adeoye both picked other schools, so in a class that probably needed 3-4 linebackers we're only adding Khalan Tolson and Jacob Hollins."

Last spring as all of the linebackers we were recruiting started picking other schools: "OK, I'm moving linebacker to DEFCON 2. We should have 9-10 linebackers on scholarship and we have six. SIX! The entire third string is made up of walkons."

Last summer: "OK, landing Milo Eifler as a transfer from Washington was really big. Not only for depth reasons, but he's a former four star and can hopefully step in immediately and fill the shoes of Del'Shawn Phillips after he graduates."

At the start of training camp: "I think I get it now. We're in the 4-2-5 almost all of the time. We don't need 9-10 linebackers on the roster to sort through and find three starters - we need 6-7 linebackers on the roster to sort through and find two starters. I get why they brought in seven DB's in this class - they're looking for corners, safeties, AND nickels."

At the end of the season: "OK, so we started going to three linebackers more and more once Hardy Nickerson left and Lovie took over. So if that's the direction we're moving - less 4-2-5, more 4-3-4 - we're back to needing linebackers in this class.

Today: It's nice to add Tarique Barnes to the linebacker room - things were a bit thin there, and having Shammond Cooper and Tarique Barns builds a lot of future depth."

Here's the scholarship linebackers next season:

Seniors - Dele Harding, Jimmy Marchese (walkon who was on scholarship last year)
Juniors - Jake Hansen, Milo Eifler, James Knight
Sophomores - Khalan Tolson, Jacob Hollins
Freshmen - Shammond Cooper, {insert player name here}

That's fairly balanced I'd say. Really, Jake Hansen should be a senior (but took a redshirt year with the ACL injury in 2017), so it's balanced out as two scholarship linebackers per class (which is just about right). Two starting spots, one half-starting spot (split with the nickel based on the offensive formation), and nine scholarship guys in the linebacker room.

As for Barnes, I'm sad to say that I'm not very high on his film. Especially when you compare it to the last two linebackers to join: Shammond Cooper and Milo Eifler. He doesn't have their athleticism and burst. That's not really an insult - it's just that he's more of a two Cruise recruit and not a 3.5-4 Cruise recruit.

His offer list is solid, but it looks like most of those offers were a long time ago. The Missouri and Mississippi State offers came after his sophomore year of high school and the Arkansas offer was last May. Reminds me of Louis Dorsey in that way. Florida State and Miami offers as a sophomore, but then a quiet period and a new list of suitors after his senior season two years later.

Why did everyone back off? Hard to say, really. With Dorsey, there was the basketball thing (he played AAU basketball his junior summer instead of football) but there were also the rumors that schools simply backed off (perhaps for the same reasons why he left the team at Illinois and is headed to junior college). With Barnes, it could be any number of things. When I watch his senior film and his junior film, his junior film is clearly better (significantly better, in my opinion). He looked to be in better shape, too, so… maybe there was a nagging injury this fall and some teams backed off? I'm just blindly speculating now, which is totally unfair.

So to sum all of this up, we need linebacker depth, and this adds linebacker depth. I'm not very high on his film, but numbers are the key in college football recruiting. This balances out the linebacker room, provides depth, and might be a player who takes his obvious athleticism and turns that into a Big Ten 'backer.

Tom Cruises, I'm between 1.5 and 2. And the 2 is probably just me being hopeful. I try to be as honest as possible with these evaluations, and really, when compared to the others, this one is a 1.5.

Tarique Barnes - One and one-half Tom Cruises.


Hoppy on February 03 @ 02:37 AM CST

Love your writing style with humor sprinkled in.

That random {insert player name here} had me actually lol.

Let’s hope TB can take the long path and redshirt this year then become serviceable by 2021.

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