Introducing The 2003 Class: Josh Barrett

Despite being named Northern Nevada 4A Player of the Year out of Reno high school, dynamic two-way football star Josh Barrett was somewhat of a sleeper recruit in the 2003 Arizona State signing class. This distinction may prove to be short lived however, as this dynamic athlete from a tremendously successful high school program is eager to command the attention of a packed Sun Devil Stadium. Barrett recently talked to DevilsDigest about committing to ASU.

It didn't take much to convince Josh Barrett that Arizona State was the place for him. On his official visit, where he was hosted by Jamal Lewis and Terry Richardson, Barrett was led into the on-campus facility that has housed Super Bowls and NCAA National Championship games and was immediately hooked. "What really got me was just the field and walking out on the field and seeing all the seats. It's sublime when you just walk in and see the enormity of the place and how many people can [potentially] be cheering for you and at a certain point you make a play and the whole place erupts. It gives you the chills."

And while the stadium enthralled Barrett, the work of an attentive ASU staff is what made the signing possible. Since Barrett didn't participate in any of the big summer camps heading into his senior year, he went largely unseen by the vast majority of traditional and Internet media outlets outside of the somewhat isolated city of Reno. Arizona State mailed him letters regularly however, and it paid off. "They sent letters and questionnaires and I really wanted to play in the Pac-10. I was talking to a few other Pac-10 schools but ASU was really the one to step up and take charge. They offered me a visit and then offered me a scholarship and immediately after seeing the facilities and meeting with some of the players it was a real eye-opening experience to what a real [Division 1] program is all about."

The 6'2, 200 pound player, who will begin his Sun Devil career as a safety, had a tremendous senior year at Reno high school, which included an 11-0 record before losing in the Northern 4A Championship game. Barrett was named to the Las Vegas Sun all-state team on offense and as returner on special teams. A consummate team player, Barrett was used all over the field by his high school staff, and was named all-league as a running back, wide receiver and defensive back. He scored ten touchdowns rushing and receiving and also had an amazing seven touchdowns returning punts and kickoffs, not to mention five interceptions, four of which were also returned for touchdowns.

Barrett knows that his strength is his versatility and if he were to be asked to switch positions by the Sun Devil staff down the road, he likely wouldn't even give it a second thought. "If the coaches encourage it and it helps the team, I'd be all for it." Even so, Barrett was recruited at safety and the 4-2-5 scheme employed by the staff certainly caught his attention. "Well, they were recruiting me as a safety, so yeah; I did like the three safety system. It encouraged me that I can play there and quicker because they need an extra safety. It's going to be competitive. I'll bet because they do have a lot of returning players at those positions but it was encouraging to see the diagrams and watching the safeties play and the scheme that they run."

Recruited primarily by defensive line coach Ted Monachino, Barrett was further impressed by the ASU staff's youth, their ability to relate to today's game. "I did like [their vitality] and the fact that they understand how the game is changing – because it is changing throughout the years; it's evolving and young coaches are willing to adapt." While on campus making his official visit, Barrett was able to see this first-hand with the aid of assistant coaches Brent Guy and Dan Fidler, who spent time showing Barrett some of the functionality and versatility of the defensive attack. "It was impressive seeing some of the things they do and the way they use their players."

Already gearing up for the bridge program later this month, and the second session of summer school in Tempe beginning in July, Barrett is spending quite a bit of time in the weight room and working on conditioning. "They sent me some film with agility and weight work stuff you can do and things that you can do to get your core stronger. We have a really nice weight room at Reno high. I like lifting [anyway] so I enjoy getting in the weight room." Other summer activities for the Barrett family include a tremendous amount of outdoor fun. "We go to the lake a lot to water-ski, wakeboard, we go camping, spend a lot of time at the river, play basketball at Arlington Park. I like to hang out with me friends and girls and just have a lot of fun."

The recent high school graduate has a lot of family from Houston Texas and a great many of them were in Reno for the recent ceremony. "It was nice seeing a lot of my family come in from Houston and all-over and we had a great party at my Dad's. Then graduation was real nice. We had a grad night thing for us where [the school] took us to an undisclosed area and there were all sort of games and things to do. It was a lot a fun and a good way to end high school."

With so many family members in Texas, Barrett seriously considered schools like Rice, Houston and even took an unofficial trip to the University of Texas with his father. He also considered staying close to home at the University of Nevada-Reno and Oregon State tried to get involved late, but to no avail. Despite the fact that he doesn't really know many people in Tempe outside of a member of the female track team, Barrett isn't apprehensive about the move to a new place far from home. "I think I'm ready. Sure, there's a little bit of [apprehension] but it's normal. My parents did a good job of preparing me and I'll be able to talk to them regularly, so it wouldn't be so bad. I'm actually looking forward to the new experience." Arizona State fans should as well.

Recruit Profile

Name Josh Barrett

High School Reno HS (Reno, NV)

Position S

Height 6-2

Weight 200

Nicknames "Jolly, Jolly Juice, Hua Bob, JJ Juice, J.B. Everyone call me J.B."

TV Show "The Bernie Mack show"

Movie "I like Will Smith and everything he does, so Enemy of the State is probably my favorite"

Music "A lot of hip-hop, rap and R&B. I like jazz a lot too. I don't really have a favorite artist."

Food "Mexican Food"

Drink "Gatorade"

Athlete "Barry Bonds"

Team "San Francisco Giants"

Person Admired "Colin Powell"

First Football Memory "The 6th grade regional championship when we beat a team from California."

One Thing most people don't know about me "Well, I am scared of heights."

Why did you choose ASU? "It's a place where you can really excel in both academics and academics."

Where do you want to be in ten years? "Hopefully in the NFL and after that starting a business, getting married and maybe coaching football."

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