Josh Barrett went from having third most tackles in the PAC-10 in 2006 to being plagued with injuries and demoted to the secnd team in 2007. Now back in the starting role, Barrett said he is exactly where he wants to be for his last season in the maroon and gold.
"Halfway through the season you want to be in the position that we are in right now; undefeated," Barrett said about the team.
While most Arizona State followers would suspect that Barrett might be a little down this year due to injuries and his depth chart position they would be surprised to find out that the senior is hungrier than ever. "We are on the verge of doing some pretty special things," Barrett stated.
He will be the first person to tell you, being injured and having to watch from the sidelines while your team wins is no fun, but Barrett has turned a corner. "I'm a team guy," Barrett added halfway out of breath. "I'm always looking to help the team. Right now we are 6-0 and obviously (not starting) has not hurt our team."
This year is all about keeping a steady work ethic, and keeping a positive attitude for Barrett, who has been plagued with injuries this season. "You know," Barrett scratched his head, "you're never going to be at 100 percent." Nobody on the team is ever in perfect health, said Barrett who is in the final healing stage of pectoral strains. "It is about playing through things and having a good attitude."
Coach Dennis Erickson said that Washington State was Barrett's best game so far this season and that he should be very proud of his performance. This does not mean a rest period for Barrett though, who will constantly demand perfection from himself and his teammates. "I feel fairly confident," Barrett said. "But we have a lot of things that need to get better, ways to get better, so that is what we are going to try to do on Saturday."
Prep work for Barrett is a full time job, he said. "Having the attitude that we are going to have to go out there and prove ourselves every Saturday; it starts in practice," Barrett added as he watched Omar Bolden race Keegan Herring at the end of practice. "Getting out here and working hard in practice and making sure that you know your scheme and where you're going out here (are keys to success)," Barrett said after a few chuckles towards his comrades.
Knowing the defensive schemes has been made easier for Barrett and the entire defense by the simple system of Coach Bray, Barrett said. "Bray's schemes are simple enough so we can make plays and do what we need to do," he said with a serious tone. "Yet he is an intense coach and he expects a lot out of us, so we have been giving him that."
One of the best notes about Barrett his season has been his extraordinary special teams play, a duty very near and dear to his heart. "You know, I take a lot of pride in special teams and coaches do and a lot of guys on this team do too. Special teams is all about effort and all about having fun and really just about playing," he said. It becomes clear that to Barrett, playing is more fun than not playing on any given Saturday.
This Saturday in Tempe ASU faces its hardest offensive challenge thus far in 2007 when they meet the University of Washington, or as their commonly known - U Dub. "They are explosive," Barrett said about his next opponent. "And their quarterback is money." He said of signal caller Jake Locker of U Dub, who was a Heisman Trophy contender in the pre-season.
"Locker is really good and they have good skill players," Barrett said. "They play hard and they are going to be ready to play, they are going to be fired up." Especially after a near USC upset two weeks ago, and a week of rest in between, he added.
The Huskies will also bring a new style to Tempe that the Devils haven't seen so far this year, Barrett mentioned. "They do some things that we have not seen from any teams this year," Barrett would not mention specifics, but added that they are going to have to watch some film before Saturday's match up. Regardless of the opponent Barrett is going to bring the same attitude to every game.
"It's about giving it your all, all the time," he said.
Back Starting, Barrett is Back on His Feet
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