2009 Prospect: Jordan Barrett

Linebacker Anthony McDonald of Notre Dame High School (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) is one of the top linebackers in the country. He's the type of player that can dominate a game. But McDonald will tell you himself, that part of his success is due to the guy playing next to him, junior linebacker Jordan Barrett.

McDonald is the anchor of the Knight's defense. It's almost impossible to replace a player of his caliber, but Notre Dame High School head coach Kevin Rooney feels that Jordan Barrett (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) has the ability to take on that responsibility.

"He's an outstanding player," coach Rooney responded when asked about Barrett. "He's a big guy. He was a little bigger than he is right now, but he's lost some weight since the start of the season. He's very athletic, quick and instinctive. As a linebacker he's very aggressive. He gets to the ball and tackles well.

"Good linebackers have a nose for the ball. He understands where to sit on plays and when to run through and when not to. He has the kind of speed, like Anthony does, that allows him to accelerate at the right time to get to the hole. He's very athletic in general. He's able to react to the ball. He can turn his hips properly in pass coverage to get in position to wall guys off and then react when the ball is in the air.

"He's very good in pass coverage," coach Rooney said. "I believe that he's the team leader in interceptions. He intercepted one last weekend and returned it for a touchdown. He looked like a running back on the return."

Part of the reason Barrett is comfortable catching the ball is that he plays on the other side of the ball at tight end. Jordan also has qualities that you can't teach, instincts, ability and work ethic.

"He also plays tight end for us. He catches the ball very well and runs good routes. He's just a really good football player all around," coach Rooney explained. "I think it all comes naturally for him. He's a guy that you knew would be good all along. When he was in Pop Warner, he was a dominant player. He was big for his age back then, but he has always been very good. He's also a very hard worker. He's a guy that is always trying to get better. He wants to get better."

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Notre Dame already has their eyes on Barrett. The Irish coaching staff got an early look at Jordan when they initially visited Notre Dame High School to recruit Dayne Crist and McDonald.

"The Notre Dame coaches were out here last spring looking at all of our guys and became interested in Jordan at that time," coach Rooney explained. "They said that they're very interested in him and that they'll follow his progress.

"He's getting mail from just everybody. He's receiving mail from across the country."

With Barrett's athletic ability he could easily play other positions, but Rooney feels that linebacker fits him perfectly.

"I think linebacker will be his best position," coach Rooney said. "He plays inside linebacker for us. He plays well in traffic and uses his hands well, so he could play any of the [linebacker] spots. I think he'd prefer to play on the inside.

"He's a great guy to have around. He's a good, friendly guy, but he has a linebacker attitude when he gets on the field."

To hear more from coach Rooney, tune into IrishEyes Power Hour this coming Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET

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