Fast forward five years and now it's Chris Barney's turn. "Chris has a lot of Vernon in him," said head coach Roland Smith, who played for the Hurricanes in the late 80s. "Chris is a real big kid but he moves well and he gets after it. I think he can be that type of player at the next level."
Barney tips the scales at 335 pounds on his 6-5 1/2 frame. He's naturally a powerful kid that does a tremendous job of pusing guys around at the high school level. "I just love having fun out there," Barney said. "I have an advantage because of my size but you still have to be able to match up against the smaller, quicker guys. Since I started here at Northwestern my 9th grade year, we've had some real good defensive ends to go up against. I gotta block Dustin Forston every day in practice and he's one of the best pass rushers. That really helps me with my quickness and footwork."
Barney, who was voted first team All-Dade by the county's coaches last season, said he's set out to help his team return to the state championship game. "We came up short last season but we're focused on getting back this year," he said. "Everyone is working real hard, running and in the weight room."
Barney's ability on the field has made him one of the top offensive line prospects in the entire state. He already has nearly a half dozen scholarship offers. "Miami, Florida State, NC State, Rutgers, and Iowa have already offered me," he said. "We have a lot of schools coming by here in the spring so hopefully I'll pick up some more."
The talented big man, who plans on camping at UM and South Florida this summer, said the Hurricanes are one of his co-favorites. "Right now, I'd say it's between UM and NC State," he said. "UM is close to home and they have a great team and everything. NC State is on the rise and they're getting a lot of guys from down here. I'm gonna take all my visits and everything though."
Film Session: #79 Chris Barney (Left Tackle)
Photo Courtesy of the Miami Herald