Barrett Ready to Live Up to the Hype

Some may call Josh Barrett the best ASU player you never heard of. However, those who follow the program closely know how highly regarded this redshirt freshman safety really is. DevilsDigest sat down with Barrett who following his shoulder injury is ready to step into the limelight that has waited patiently for him since last season.

This time last year, Josh Barrett's performance in practice, especially on special teams, was catching the attention of the Sun Devil coaches time and time again. The then true freshman was a shoe-in to not redshirt, and sure enough did play in the team's season opener against Northern Arizona, Unfortunately for him and his team, his first collegiate game saw him go down with an injury that quickly put the redshirt tag on him.

The safety's spirits were never shattered, and he actually took full advantage at the card life has dealt him. "Coming in as a freshman there's a lot of benefit redshirting," he explained. "For me it was great learning from guys like Riccardo Stewart and Jason Shivers. It was a blessing in disguise really. Physically, you're disappointed you're not out there. But you get to learn the game at a slower pace."

These days Barrett is running on the second team with fellow safeties Maurice London and Daniel Varvel, and it isn't uncommon to see Barrett play at time on the first unit. While the depth chart at his position is one of the most challenging on the squad, Barrett is just happy to be out there no matter what the chances for playing time hold. "It's great being back on the field with your teammates," he said. "It's especially good after having surgery and getting better. I've been working hard in the off-season to get better, and now it's time to go out there and show what I can do…there's a lot of competition at safety, and we'll see who does the best."

As mentioned, it was a quick rise for fame for Barrett. A solid fall camp left no doubts as to whether he will contribute his first year. The humble Barrett saw that not only as a great personal achievement, but also a great feat for his hometown of Reno, Nev. "Coming in I had expectations to play right away," he recalled. "It was good to know that coming from a small town, a small school that you can compete with guys that were recruited heavily all around the country. It really gave me a lot of confidence."

After sitting out not the only the season, but also spring practice, they're few players more excited for the current fall practices than Barrett. "I'm going full speed at camp," he said. "I didn't play for a long time, and I'm ready to play and make it a good season. I can't wait for the season to start." And Sun Devils fans soon won't have to wait much longer to see one of the promising young players on this squad. Watching Barrett is indeed a peak into the bright future of this safety position.

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