Looking To Enjoy Himself

It's been so long, that Anthony Barr has no recollection of ever being inside Notre Dame Stadium for a game.

Perhaps some details will come rushing back this weekend.

When Anthony Barr sits in the stands on Saturday in front of the student section as a recruit, he will be watching the Irish and Stanford play on the same field his father Tony Brooks and uncle Reggie Brooks once did as running backs in helping the Notre Dame program through its most recent set of glory years. It will be the same set of stands Barr once cheered as a young Irish fan.

"I'm just trying to go and have a good time, and see what it's like to be in a game atmosphere," Barr said. "I haven't been to a game in awhile. I just want to see what the atmosphere is like on game day."

One of the top prospects in the class-of-2010, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Barr already holds written scholarship offers from Notre Dame, USC, UCLA and Stanford. The Loyola High standout will be making the trip to South Bend this weekend with his mother, who is a St. Mary's graduate.

With Barr's background, it's easy to see Notre Dame holds a special place in his and the family's hearts. There are pictures of young Anthony in Notre Dame clothes, and today posters of the Irish program hang in his bedroom.

"They're all about family," Barr said of Notre Dame. "Growing up, family has always been a big importance in the household, and I think Notre Dame has a lot of values I grew up with."

Barr will get a chance to see his father this weekend. He lives in Michigan, about 45 minutes away from campus.

This past summer was Barr's first time back at Notre Dame in a few years. He wowed the Irish coaching staff at camp, earning one of the program's first scholarship offers in next year's class. The staff is recruiting Barr as an athlete, and he could end up at linebacker, defensive end, running back or even safety if he decides on Notre Dame in the end.

Loyola is off to a 2-2 start this fall, with a pair of tough losses the last two weekends to De La Salle and St. John Bosco. No matter the opponent, Barr has proved to be tough to stop. He has already rushed for 809 yards on 94 carries (8.61 avg.) with 10 touchdowns. He also has two receptions for 36 yards and another touchdown.

"I think there is a big X on my chest, but I enjoy that," Barr said. "Sometimes I get to be a decoy, whatever it takes to help the team."

Irish assistant coach Brian Polian has been steady with the emails to Barr.

"He's been sending me letters to stay in the back of my head," Barr said.

In the back of Barr's head, there is also plenty of Notre Dame knowledge. This weekend's trip will make him more familiar with the program.

"I'm sure there is a lot I don't know," Barr said. "I just want to go out there and enjoy myself. I'm not going to figure out every tidbit about the school in one trip. I think there will be plenty of time and opportunities to do that. I'm just going to go out there and enjoy myself."

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