If you watched Hawaii prep football this past fall, you might not have seen much of Punahou quarterback Stephen Barber Jr., but that does not mean that college coaches are not familiar with him.
A torn bicep limited Barber during the football season, but he was ready to go when camp season rolled around. The 2018 prospect went to the mainland and competed with the best quarterbacks on the West Coast.
“This past season was a really good experience for me,” Barber said. “I didn’t play as much as what was ideal for me. It really humbled me and made me work harder this offseason.
“It was rewarding for me because during high school, I tore my bicep. I didn’t get to play as much and compete. It kind of got me down. Right when I recovered, I worked hard and went to the camps. Getting the awards for the camps was pretty rewarding."
Soon after returning home from the camps, Barber got some good news from his home-state team, the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. UH gave him his first scholarship offer.
“It was a blessing, especially because it’s from the home state,” Barber said. “I was really excited and blessed to have gotten it... My quarterback coach that I throw with told me to give them a call. I called Coach Stutzmann. I was super excited, blessed and thanked God for it. It made me realize that the hard work payed off and I have to keep working hard.”
The Honolulu product has been a regular attendee at UH games over the years and has developed a good relationship with the new coaching staff. He took an unofficial visit to the campus this spring, along with attending the team’s Spring Fling.
“They are great coaches, I really like all of them,” Barber said. “I think that they are going to turn it into something special. It looks like they are bringing the program up… Seeing the home state really rooting on their team and the home pride with UH stood out to me. I thought it was pretty special.”
On the field, Barber seems to fit the mold in what Hawaii is now looking for in the quarterback position with the ability to use his legs. He still has two more years of high school to improve his game before his shot at the next level.
“I’m a dual-threat quarterback, throw first and run second,” Barber said. “I play a fast-pace and I have a pretty strong arm. I’m pretty good at running. I really like to try to be a leader on the field and bring my guys up to do their best… I would say that being born and raised on the islands has really made me the grow into the person I am today. It made me humble, hungry and never satisfied.”
Hawaii is Barber’s only offer, but some other schools have started making initial contact with him. He will soon take another trip to the mainland to camp with Arizona, Arizona State, Fresno State and USC and attend other satellite camps.
“It really pushes me to work harder because I have limited opportunities to be there,” Barber said of the mainland visits. “I always try to be prepared anytime that I fly out there to give them my ‘A’ game and do my best.”
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