Los Angeles, Calif. - Running Back? Linebacker? Safety? Tight End? Big athlete Anthony Barr had his season cut short due to an injury in the first quarter of his second game. 4+ quarters was enough for him to score three touchdowns, and Scout has his senior highlights and scouting report.
At 6-4 and 225 pounds, Loyola running back / safety Anthony Barr hardly fits the
mold of either position. Typically a player with those dimensions are projected
for a different position on the college level. Anthony Barr isn't most players,
and he's currently listed as a Top 10 running back in the entire country on
I watched both of the games he played in trying to decide what would be his best
position on the next level, considering how improbable at seems a player with
his size would actually stick at running back.
It didn't take long to watch him to see why he's so highly ranked, although he
was not what I expected. He is as fluid an athlete as Terrelle Pryor, light on
his feet, able to turn his hips and change directions like a wide receiver. What
I expected was a power back. What I saw was the equivalent of putting one of the
NFL's bigger receivers, like Larry Fitzgerald, and running him out of the
In the open field he runs a bit too upright, making him susceptible to big hits
from out of his initial range of vision, like a linebacker pursuing laterally.
That being said, he does a remarkable job of getting low in traffic and
protecting himself and the ball.
I have a decidedly defensive bias if I'm trying to project a player between one
of two position, and my initial impression of watching Barr was that he was
purely an offensive player. Whether it's running back, h-back, tight end, or
wide receiver, he's a guy that looks like he was born to have the ball in his
On defense, he lined up 20 yards deep at the safety spot and seemed reluctant to
initiate contact. I began thinking "no way is this kid a defensive
Then the game wore on.
Barr inched closer to the line of scrimmage, covered a tight end on an out
route, burst on an underthrown ball and took it 87 yards the other way for a
touchdown. If I'm looking for a linebacker to cover a tight end, I just
witnessed a thing of beauty.
From that point on, Barr was a different player in the game on defense,
delivering big hits, supporting the run, and punishing receivers coming across
Barr went down late in the first quarter in his second game after a player
pursuing from behind rolled up on the back of his legs. The ankle injury will
sideline him for the season, but should not affect what should be a spectacular
While Barr is an outstanding running back, I now see him more of a player that
could be an Antonio Gates type of tight end on offense. On defense, he'd be a
lights out free safety with his coverage skills and break on the ball. If he
were to end up at linebacker, I'd just need to see him take on blocks better and
be physical enough at the point of attack to not be a liability against a power
In short, sign the kid and let the offensive and defensive coaches fight it out
for him once he gets on campus.
Here is a look at his senior season highlights from ScoutTV
#2 RB/S Anthony Barr