"A lot of people come up to me and say you play like a bear, you really mauled the offense," the talented linebacker from Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks, Calif. said. "I just try to go out there and play crazy and have fun."
While all that is true, that's not how Jordan Barrett got his nickname. Although the story is kind of football related.
After recently transferring to Notre Dame from Westlake High before the start of his sophomore year, Barrett sat down to eat with a few of his new teammates after the first of two practices.
"It's a funny story," Barrett began. "I was pretty tired, and I was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and my friend next to me had a tri-tip with barbecue sauce. And I took my peanut butter and jelly, and dipped it in the barbecue sauce. Another friend said you eat like a bear. Now all the coaches and my teammates call me Bear."
Barrett made the varsity that season, and since then has developed into one of the best linebackers in the 2009 recruiting class. California, USC, Georgia Tech, Boston College, Washington, UCLA, Wake Forest and Virginia are a few of the many showing the 6-foot-3, 228-pound Barrett attention, and on Tuesday, he picked up his first scholarship offer.
"Last night, (high school teammate and Notre Dame signee) Dayne (Crist) called me and told me the Notre Dame coaches want to talk to me," Barrett began.
"I called (Irish assistant) coach Polian last night, and he told me that (head) coach (Charlie) Weis wanted to talk to me today. So coach Polian texted my linebackers coach and said that coach Weis was available between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning to call.
"I called him and we talked, and he told me he wanted me to play inside linebacker there and he offered me a scholarship."
Barrett has certainly heard a lot about Notre Dame with his teammates Crist and linebacker Anthony McDonald inking letters-of-intent with the Irish earlier this month. Polian has been by the school several times over the last year or so.
While watching film of McDonald, Barrett also showed up to the Notre Dame coaching staff. This past fall, he had 90 tackles with 13 of those coming for loss including five sacks. Barrett also had four pass breakups and two interceptions, one of which he ran back for a score.
"I know they had been by the school a lot to see Dayne and Anthony," Barrett said. "They told me they saw my highlight film and liked what they saw. They were keeping in touch. I was hoping, and when they offered I was really excited."
So was everyone else.
"I called my Dad right away and he was just as excited as I was, and we were going crazy," Barrett said.
"Anthony and Dayne were really happy for me. Since they both committed there, they're nagging me, telling me how great it is. They want me to go there, so they were joking around with me. They said it's a great school and coach Weis is an amazing coach."
The two have filled Barrett in on more than that.
"They've told me how they have great facilities and how the school tradition is amazing, and hopefully I can go out there and check it out myself."
Barrett is hoping to see the campus for the first time at the Irish's upcoming spring game. If that can't happen, he'll check it out sometime over the summer with his family.
Barrett reported a GPA of 2.8, a bench press of 275 pounds, and a squat of 425. He hasn't set up a timetable for when he wants to end the recruiting process.
"I haven't really thought about it too much," Barrett said. His father played quarterback at Brown University. "I'm just waiting to see what schools are interested in me and where I get offers from, and I'll talk it over with my family and see my options."
Judging by his first scholarship offer, it looks like the Big Bear will have plenty of options.