Commentary

Raising the Barr

DT Todd Barr was one of many defensive standouts at the UA combine in Los Angeles

Originally Published: March 22, 2010
By Craig Haubert | ESPN Recruiting

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- On a day the city of the Los Angeles was hosting a marathon, a group of college football prospects came out to Santa Monica College to try to run their way onto the recruiting scene. It was a typical Southern California day with nice weather ideal for competing and testing, and although the Los Angeles edition of the Under Armour tour lacked participation from some of the area's bigger-name prospects, it was far from devoid of talent.

[+] EnlargeTodd Barr
Davide De Pas Todd Barr recorded 87 tackles, including 32 for loss last season.

A prospect we were excited to see coming into the day was defensive tackle Todd Barr (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood), who had grabbed our attention with his play on film. The 2011 ESPNU Watch List defender plays with a high motor and an intensity that was on display at the combine. From station to station, he was constantly preparing and warming up for each test he was about to take part in, and his preparation usually paid dividends. Although Barr is a little light for a defensive tackle, the potential swing man ran an impressive 4.89-second 40-yard dash and posted good scores in the 3-cone with a 7.7 and the short shuttle with 4.65.

At a little under 6-foot-2, he needs to add bulk, but he has the room on his frame to add that needed size. Barr also mentioned that he was a little lighter than usual because he was coming off a bout with the flu. Although he may be lacking slightly in ideal measurables, he exhibited in his testing and during one-on-ones what he showed on film. He took reps inside and at the end position and flashed good initial quickness and good activity with his hands. He did not just fire off the ball and go crazy but also tried to use his weapons, execute moves and displayed a good ability to counter. With an already-solid list of offers that includes Stanford, UCLA, Washington and Texas Tech, Barr showed that he is a player to watch.

Other defensive linemen who impressed were DeVante Wilson (Corona, Calif./Corona) and Class of 2012 defensive tackle Drew James (Corona, Calif./Corona). Wilson suffered a hamstring injury and had to sit out of position drills and one-on-ones, but the 6-4, 229-pounder definitely looks the part. Wilson clearly projects best at defensive end. He's currently sitting on two offers, from Arizona and Colorado, but is hearing from UCLA, USC and Oregon, among others. James showed good footwork in one-on-one drills and has good feet. He is a prospect to watch in the next recruiting cycle as he continues to develop and is the younger brother of Class of 2010 Under Armour All-American running back Jordon James, who signed with UCLA.

Linebackers

Barr's teammate, Rahim Cassell, is an impressive prospect at his position. He moved well in position drills and one-on-ones and is a competitor. He has a good frame and a solid wingspan. He displayed the ability to be physical in one-on-ones and open up and run with the backs in their routes. Cassell holds a 3.0 grade-point average and was a Long Beach Dream Team selection last season. Arizona, Arizona State, Washington and Colorado have offered, and he's getting interest from a number of other programs.

Adam Pulsipher (Temecula, Calif./Valley) sports an interesting offer from across the country. The inside linebacker prospect said he recently picked up his first offer from Buffalo. The offer seems a bit out of place, but Pulsipher did say he was considering the Bulls and was receiving interest from other schools, including UCLA and BYU. Although Pulsipher lacks ideal height, he has solid size with a muscular build and the frame to add more good bulk. He posted a good short shuttle time of 4.25, and in one-on-one drills versus the running backs, he did a good job of coming up and getting hands on the backs and altering their release.

Defensive backs

[+] EnlargeAnthony Payne
Davide De Pas/ESPN.comAnthony Payne is getting looks from Minnesota and other schools.

Cornerback prospect Anthony Payne (San Diego/Mira Mesa) created a little buzz at the combine by posting a 4.45 40. The long-limbed, rangy prospect also fared well in one-on-ones, displaying the ability to be able to open up and transition well and turn and run with receivers. He was a second-team All-Eastern League selection last year with five interceptions.

Jerry Haymon (Fresno, Calif./Clovis East) was physically impressive in the football drills. The 6-foot, 189-pounder ran a respectable 4.63-second 40 and timed at 7.31 in the L-cone shuttle. He also had an interception in seven-on-seven work where he broke on the ball nicely. Haymon is a big, quick safety prospect who should get looks as the recruiting process rolls on, provided his film checks out.

2012 defensive back prospect DeRon Smith (Pasadena, Calif./Bishop Alemany) posted an impressive 4.24 40 time.

Nicholas Payne (Anthony Payne's brother) ran a 4.59 40 and a 7.53 L-cone. The 5-11, 155-pounder also had two interceptions last season.

Although undersized, Chris Brown (Culver City, Calif./Culver City) was very solid and impressed the Under Armour coaches on Sunday.

Craig Haubert is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc. and has more than a decade of coaching experience. JC Shurburtt also contributed to this piece.

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