BYU Gets Speedy J.C. Athlete

BYU's football program just received a boost of speed from an L.A. Harbor Junior College all-purpose athlete who intends to walk-on and earn a scholarship.

Cortny Barton is a 5-foot-9-inch, 200-pound human rocket whenever he touches the ball, and L.A. Harbor head coach Andrew Alvillar seems to know it, judging by how much he has used Barton. Barton has played everything from running back, to defensive back, to fielding kicks on special teams. Barton has made the choice to walk-on at BYU this year.

"Yeah, I'm going to walk-on at BYU," said Barton. "The coaches have invited me and that's what I'm going to do. I've been taking trips to a couple other colleges. My branch president started putting up my film and people in my stake started talking about me. My branch president asked me if I was going to try and play for BYU. I just said that I'd try, but getting up there, I don't know. People in my branch started fixing up my film and put it all together and then another person put it up on YouTube [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBhIdQr8SoY].

"They then sent it out to the BYU coaches and for some reason the coaches loved it. They loved it and they were able to have someone tell me to give them a call, and ever since then I just feel this is where I should be. I just feel I should be at BYU. It's my church school and I'll be around people with good morals. I'll be able to do something good for the church, you know."

During the 2006 season, Barton saw limited time due to an injury that both limited his stats and kept him under the recruiting radar. Prior to his injury, Barton averaged 7 yards per carry while rushing the football, and led L.A. Harbor with 20 yards per reception. He also averaged 22.6 yards per kick return and had 13 returns for 295 total yards.

Now Barton will have his chance to try and earn a scholarship at Brigham Young University, and plans on coming up to BYU over the summer.

"I spoke with Coach Mendenhall and he said he feels that I could make an automatic impact on special teams," said Barton. "I'll probably try and do the kick returns and condition myself for the punt returns and maybe slot receiver.

"I was pretty much told the same things as what I was told by other schools that were looking at me. You know, I'm not going to go up there and slack off. I'm going to go up there and will give it all I've got. It just motivates me to work and play even harder.

"I'm going to go up to Arizona to do some training over the summer. I was just looking at the calendar and want to come up to BYU early because I've never been up there before, except for the MTC. I want to come up there around the 27th of July."

Barton said that he is has accomplished almost everything necessary to come to BYU.

"Yup, I'm pretty much good to go," Barton said. "All I need is to take my finals this week but I'm ready for those. I just want to hurry up and get my schooling done and get out of here to get up [to BYU] as soon as I can."

Barton played high school football at Hawthorne High School with recent BYU linebacker commit Tolu Moala. Barton was surprised and excited to have recently learned that, as old friends and former teammates, they will be reunited as Cougars.

"I did not know that he committed to BYU," said Barton while chuckling. "His brother Eric Moala [Oregon State] was my quarterback during my junior year. I became [Tolu's] quarterback in high school. At first, Tolu was my quarterback until he threw, like, six interceptions the first game of the season. The coaches found out right then they needed another quarterback. They brought me in to play quarterback after that.

"We had a lot of LDS players on our team back then. We had Cameron Stevenson, who the Steelers just picked up. Cameron played up at Rutgers and was their offensive linemen. I think he played guard for them. He's LDS and he's Tongan. He was number 72 during my junior year."

Although his old high school teammate may not have been destined to be the star quarterback, Barton did mention that Moala was an outstanding athlete and a great defensive end for Hawthorne High School.

"Tolu was a great athlete and a great defensive end for us back then," Barton said. "He was so quick around the edges. He is such a great guy and has a great sense of humor. We grew up together and I'll feel a lot more comfortable with him up there.

"I've always felt comfortable with Tolu around because he's the type of person that makes me laugh. He's the kind of guy that balances out the team. He can get everyone to be serious and at the same time he can ease the tension by making everyone laugh and have a good time."


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