Malik Barrow tore his ACL during his senior season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and he hasn't played football game since.
The defensive tackle, now a redshirt-freshman at Ohio State, enrolled early back in January of 2016, but he wasn't healthy enough to participate fully in spring camp. He was working back toward full strength when the regular season rolled around, but Barrow still ended up redshirting during his first year in Columbus.
Now, with the Buckeyes moving toward the 2017 spring game, Barrow is back in the mix, and he's turning some heads on the practice field.
"He's doing well," senior defensive end Jalyn Holmes said of Barrow. "It's just some young-guy stuff that all of us went through, but Malik shows great talent and the sky's the limit with him."
Holmes didn't stop there. He went so far as to say Barrow is destined to make name for himself at the next level, and he hasn't even played a down of college football.
"That's a future first rounder, top-10 pick in my eyes," Holmes continued. "Once he starts to believe that on a consistent basis, nobody can block him. That's a strong statement, a strong statement. I'm dead serious. When he could be a first-round pick, you all come calling me because I said it first."
Defensive line coach Larry Johnson noted that the Buckeyes are taking it a bit slow with Barrow since he hasn't played since tearing his ACL. He explained that the coaching staff is "overloading" Barrow to see exactly what he can do.
"He's got to play in the fall and so we're trying to find out how many plays can he play at maximum speed. That's the key, that's what we're gauging right now."
Barrow, who was listed at 6-2, 270 coming out of high school, checked in at 290 pounds this spring.
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