The junior cornerback from Haven, Kan., recorded five tackles (he had just 10 career stops entering this season) and his second career interception versus NDSU, his first since picking off a pass against Sam Houston State his freshman season in 2008.
This was just his third career start after seeing action on the first
play against South Florida and Sam Houston State in the third and
fourth game of ‘08.
"It felt good," said Isiah Barfield, who didn't know he was starting
until just before gametime. "It's been a while since I played
significant snaps. It felt amazing. My mom and dad were here, my little
brother, my grandma were here. It just felt good for my family and
It's been a long journey for Barfield since arriving at Kansas in 2007
after a standout career at Haven High School. He was named all-MCAA as
a running back from 2004-06, an all-league selection as a defensive
back in 2005 and 2006 and as a kick returner and punter in ‘06.
Barfield, who collected more than 500 rushing yards, 304 receiving
yards and 600 return yards in 2006, was ranked the No. 14 player in the
state by one national Web site following his senior season.
After redshirting in 2007, Barfield played his first four games at
cornerback as a freshman in 2008 before being benched and not playing
again until the Insight Bowl against Minnesota. He was then switched to
receiver as a sophomore last year, where he played in seven games on
When Turner Gill replaced Mark Mangino as KU head coach last December,
he moved Barfield back to cornerback. And the player known in his
hometown as the "The Speedster from Haven" is feeling pretty
comfortable and thriving these days in his role. He said playing
receiver last season has helped his play.
"I can see a lot of things more than I did when I was a freshman or
sophomore, knowing a little bit more about the offense from being on
that side of the ball," Barfield said.
"Things have slowed down for me. I went out there (against NDSU) and
tried to make as many plays as I could."
While he's found a home in the secondary, Barfield is the consummate
team player who doesn't hesitate when asked if he prefers cornerback to
"Wherever coach wants me to play, I'll play," Barfield said. "If I have
to go back to receiver next year, I'll gladly do it."
It looks like Barfield is at cornerback to stay. He made many plays
last Saturday, including his interception in the endzone in the second
quarter with KU leading 3-0.
"It was pretty exciting," Barfield said. "I really didn't think he (QB
Jose Mohler) was going to throw it. I had my man (Warren Holloway)
pressed and he couldn't get an inside release. When he threw it, my
eyes got big and I jumped up and caught it."
Barfield, though, erred by running the ball out of the endzone and
getting tackled on the one-yard line.
"For a split second I thought of Aqib (Talib, former Jayhawk star) when
he went 106, 107 (yards for an interception return for a touchdown
against Florida International on Sept. 22, 2007)," Barfield said. "But
then reality came down and I (realized) I was in the endzone. I was
doing my best to try and get down but the guys were tacking me out of
the endzone. It was bad on my part. I should have caught it and got
down because the offense got terrible field position."
KU's offense never got untracked in its 6-3 season-opening loss.
However, the defense performed admirably. Kansas allowed just 168 yards
of total offense, including only 95 yards through the air.
"Our defense fought around out there," Barfield said. "We did what we
were coached to do for the most part."
That wasn't much consolation, though, for Barfield and his teammates as
they headed to the locker room after the defeat.
"It was surreal," Barfield said. "I just thought I was in a nightmare
waiting to wake up, but I never did. It hurts."
But Barfield has put that game behind him and is ready to play well
again and help KU shock No. 15 Georgia Tech on Saturday at Memorial
"The belief is you make the most improvement from game one to game
two," Barfield said. "We're going to come there and play football. ...
We're very optimistic. Any given Saturday, any team can win."
Raising the Bar(field)
Phog.net Top Stories
Big 12 Football Roundup: Week 3 Top StoriesAll you need to know about Big 12 teams leading into Week Three of the college football season.
Big 12 Recruiting Notebook (9/15/16)News, notes and recruiting scoop out of the Big 12...
Scout's Inside Recruiting ScoopSep. 14 -- What's the latest on the top recruits in the country? Scout's basketball recruiting team -- Evan Daniels, Brian Snow and Josh Gershon -- break down the latest, including…
Bruin Report Online09/14/2016
Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 2A look at the Big 12 Power Rankings after two weeks of play