"Ed has been a big part of our offensive and defensive teams here," said Jones. "He's doing an outstanding job here. The only regret we have, we're not able to throw the ball to him as much as we want to, but he's been doing a great job with supplying us with some great blocking that enables some others to get free. In terms of receptions he has been receiving the ball fairly well.
"The biggest contribution he's had this year is playing defensive end. With his size and speed and quickness, he forces people to run away from him. But, nevertheless, he's been chasing folks down from behind. He follows the right line of pursuit, and a dominating force delivering a crowd-pleasing hit on the field."
The greatest example of Barham's "crowd pleasing" hits came last Saturday during Surry County's first round playoff game. Barham delivered a knockout-like hit to Saluda Middlesex's quarterback, and – according to Middlesex's head coach – the quarterback had no clue where he was until 5 p.m. that night – the game started at 1 in the afternoon.
Although Barham, a 6-foot-3 225-pounder, is being recruited as a tight end, the North Carolina coaching staff has by no means ruled out the idea of playing him on the defensive side of the ball.
"Primarily [he's being recruited as a] tight end, but when he was up there they liked his defensive end skills," said Jones. "He just wants to play at North Carolina. He's a good tight end, he has exceptionally good hands, he runs real good routes for a man his sizes, and he's also committed, too. He runs low, keeps his feet under him, and he cuts well. And if [the football] hits his hands, it's caught."
Firmly committed to North Carolina, Barham, who has attended a few Tar Heel games this season, doesn't have any plans to officially visit any other school besides UNC.
"A few coaches have called me and asked about him, but [Barham] says just tell them I'm verbally committed to North Carolina," said Jones.
Barham, who is fully qualified according to Jones, has considered December graduation and enrolling at UNC in January. However, Jones believes Barham will remain in high school to play his senior season of track and basketball.
Thus far on the season, Barham has totaled 299 yards and four touchdowns on receptions. He has accumulated 81 tackles (52 solo), including four sacks, and has batted down six passes.