'13 Prospect Evaluation: LB Sean Barton

Fall ball has begun, but our Bootleg prospect analyst Garry Cobb can't help looking to the future. Stanford's most recent verbal commitment for 2013, aggressive and athletic future LB Sean Barton will very likely go on an LDS mission before arriving on the Farm. His future as a Cardinal is so bright, we might have to wear shades!

'13 Prospect Evaluation: LB Sean Barton

Sean Barton LB (6’3” 220 – Woods Cross High School, Wood Cross, UT)

Scout.com Rating: 3 Stars, #48 OLB, Top-10 LB in the West

Decision Notes: Verbal on 8/05/12 over finalists Utah & Washington. Will take LDS mission

Sean Barton displays a wide array of athleticism in part as a result of the variety of positions he plays on both offense and defense. Barton shows very good short-area and long speed while in pursuit on defense. He is able to track down ball carriers in the open field and in traffic, often using a nice burst to cut through blockers on blitzes and find the ball carrier. From his video, he looks to have a good feel for the proper pursuit angles on defense, regardless of whether he’s playing in the defensive backfield, or down inside the box. The knack for the “big hit” is displayed when playing against the pass – Barton does not shy away from contact. What is not displayed prominently in his video is one-on-one pass coverage. How Barton fares in that aspect of his game on defense will, along with how he grows, be an important indicator as to what position he will play on defense in college.

With the ball as a receiver or running back, Barton flashes impressive speed and agility. He is able to beat tough pursuit angles when he has the ball and repeatedly pulls away from defenders once he is in the open. Before he gets into the open, the Utah product uses crafty cut-backs and well-timed stutter moves to throw the opposition off balance. He maintains his speed through his cuts, while his vision and awareness as a ball carrier are also impressive – showing up both when he is handed the ball or thrown screens as a running back or wide receiver. In those instances where he is thrown the ball, Barton catches the ball naturally and smoothly with his hands. Given that his likely future position is on defense, Barton’s hands should be an extra bonus and will greatly enhance his big-play capabilities. Barton appears to be a terrific athlete who will likely grow into a linebacker at the college level.

The skill set that Sean Barton can bring to that position is pretty rare, as his athleticism could allow him to play as an oversized safety at many schools. However, seeing as how he already is listed at 225 lbs, he may fit best as an inside linebacker in Stanford’s 3-4 scheme. His pursuit abilities and burst to the football will allow him to make plays anywhere on the field.

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