Connor Barwin- A Man of Change

The news of Connor Barwin's move from tight end on the offensive side of the ball to defensive end on the defensive side is so last spring. We have the latest info. on another of Barwin's recent changes, and (spoiler!) this one may upset some current jersey owners.

My how things have changed in one year's time. A year ago a Connor Barwin introduction may have gone something like this:

"Starting at tight end, number 89, Connor Barwin!"

Now, what you could expect to hear today:

"Starting at defensive end, number 5, Connor Barwin!"

See the difference one year can make? Barwin's move to the defense was the talk of the Bearcat's past spring season. Always keeping us on our toes, the arrival of pre-season camp brought about another change for the 6-foot-4, 255 lb. Hazel Park, Michigan native. In a Michael Jordan, Ken Griffey Jr., and Kobe Bryant-esque type of move, Barwin left behind what had become his signature number 89 for a nice, new number- five. Like many athletes that have done the same, there was meaning behind the switch for Barwin.

"You know, I decided to make a switch. I switched from offense to defense, so I decided to switch my number, too," said Barwin following Cincinnati's practice Saturday. "I picked number five because, I don't know if you remember Mike Daniels, but he was one of my favorite players here that I played with so I'm trying to wear the number for him, too."

But don't worry too much about the number 89; it looks to be doing quite well for itself, thank you very much. Recent Minnesota transfer and fellow defensive lineman Alex Daniels has given the number a new home.

Now, to move on to what some may call "more pressing and important" Connor Barwin football matters…

After a busy off-season of strength and conditioning work, Barwin looks like a D-lineman now more than ever. Coming into his final year of pre-season camp, the senior admits he'll be trying to enjoy himself as much as possible this season, while also continuing to work as hard as ever.

"I think I've always had a pretty good work ethic," says Barwin, a statement that may be considered common sense to most UC fans. "But I think if you try to act like being a senior doesn't make a difference you're lying to yourself, because it does make a difference. I think I'm having as much fun or more fun than I've had in the past three years just because, you know, being in a starting role right now and not having to deal with split time or anything, I'm just out here having fun with it and being a senior and enjoying my senior year."

It's easy to see that Barwin is having a ball of a time out there on the field this summer. In fact, there's only one thing that could make his current football experience any more fun- a ball.

"I still miss catching the ball," admits the former tight end, who caught 53 passes for 691 yards and five touchdowns in his three years at the position. "I'll definitely miss it come this season when I'm not scoring any touchdowns. But you know, you just try to get your hands on the ball a different way. I'm going to try to cause fumbles and get sacks and stuff like that."

Fumbles, sacks, and "stuff like that" would be a huge accomplishment for the first-year defensive player. But anyone who's seen Barwin in the past tear it up as tight end or play his heart out as a one-time member of UC's basketball team knows he has the pure athleticism, power, and determination that will be demanded of him on every play at his new position.

So, does the now-defensive end think he'll be able to score any TD's this season as a member of the high-scoring Bearcat's defense?

"That's my goal; I think I can," said Barwin. "I mean, I only got two (touchdowns) on offense all last year so there's no reason I can't get two on defense."

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