'10 Unwrapped: Anthony Barr

Anthony Barr could play three positions (running back, safety or linebacker) at the next level, stars in two sports (football and track), and has 10 offers and three priorities in his search for a school. The Bootleg makes sense of all those numbers, and much more, in an exclusive interview with the versatile L.A. athlete.

Athlete Anthony Barr (Loyola High, Los Angeles) is one of the highest-profile recruits in the Class of 2010. Scout.com gives him four stars and ranks him the No. 6 running back in the country, while a competing recruiting network ranks him the No. 19 overall prospect in his class.

The college football recruiting process can grow overwhelming, especially for high profile recruits who can expect to rack up dozens of offers from schools across the country. While Barr certainly fits into that category, he reports he's not feeling too much stress yet.

"My recruitment is going really well so far," Barr told TheBootleg.com in an exclusive interview early this week. "It's not too hectic, and it's been fun, hearing from all the schools and what they have to say. I enjoy taking it all in, and I'm going to take my time with the whole process."

Barr's recruitment looks to be uniquely national in scope. Five of the nation's six BCS conferences are represented in the 10 offers Barr has received to date – and he's thinking he'll be hearing from BCS conference No. 6 in the not too distant future.

"So far, I have offers from Notre Dame, UCLA, USC, California, Stanford, Oregon, Colorado, Tennessee, Florida State and Syracuse," Barr said. "I might be offered next… maybe by some Big 10 schools, more SEC schools and, hopefully, the rest of the Pac-10."

Any predictions aside, Barr knows which schools he'd like to hear from in short order.

"It'd be cool to hear from Ohio State and Michigan, maybe Florida or Texas, and even Boston College -- I think that'd be pretty cool," he said. "And if I don't, that's not too big of a deal."

As an already crowded field for Barr could well get more crowded yet in the near future, sheer numbers alone dictate no one program can feel too good about their shots signing the SoCal star. Nonetheless, Barr is doing his part to keep an open mind and listen to every school's pitch without declaring a leader.

"I don't think there are any [schools] that really top the charts," he said. "Notre Dame, UCLA, Cal and Stanford are the four schools I've been in contact with the most. As far as schools that stand out, I'm liking all of them. I like what each school has to offer and I don't think I have one school that really tops the charts."

Whichever school ends up atop the charts will have proven itself to Barr in three ways.

"First of all, I want a school that provides me with a good education, somewhere I can graduate and get a degree," Barr said. "I want a place that is like home; if I'm there for four years, I want to be comfortable and enjoy my time. Finally, I want a place that will get me ready for the next level. I'm really hoping one day to play in the league—I think that'd be a pretty cool deal."

Barr has taken just one visit thus far, an unofficial to Notre Dame in the fall.

"I haven't taken any other trips, but I'm really looking forward to taking other trips," he said. "I think it'll be a good experience to see other schools, the way they're set up and what they have to offer beyond just words, seeing visually what they have."

The reason for the disconnect between Barr's desire to see college campuses and the fact that he's only seen one thus far is simple: track.

"I run the 200, the 4x100, and every now and then, the 100," said Barr, adding his PRs are 11.1 in the 100 and 22.4 in the 200. "So I've spoken with Stanford about Junior Days, but I'm running track right now and it's really tough to leave that. I haven't gone to any Junior Days, but hopefully when track's over, in late-May, early-June, if any Junior Days are left, I'll be able to attend them if that's possible.

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Barr thinks his combination of size and speed is to credit for the ten offers that have come his way.

"Size along with speed -- I think that's a unique combination that maybe separates me from other players," he said. "Also, I can play just about any position. I'll be put anywhere and do anything to give 100 percent."

Indeed, Barr's versatility on the field is unique, even among top BCS-level recruits. He played running back this past year for Loyola, but thinks he'll find himself in the defensive backfield, at either strong safety or free safety, in his senior season at Loyola High.

"Wherever they need me to play, I'm going to play there," he said. "I'm team-first: whatever it takes for team success."

While Barr will certainly maintain his team-first orientation in college, he knows where on the field he'd be lining up if he had his druthers.

"I don't really care as long as I play, but as far as my preference, I really enjoy running the ball; but I don't know if that's a reality," he cautioned. "I know lot of schools are saying running back, but a lot are saying linebacker, or a hybrid safety/linebacker."

Academically, Barr will take the SAT in June, and stresses his belief that the rigor of his high school has prepared him well for college.

"I have a core GPA of 3.4 or 3.3, around there," he said. "There's no doubt that the high school that I'm at right now prepares you for the best, and I think high school has prepared me for any challenge that comes my way. I think I can meet it and do a good job whatever I do."

Barr plans on majoring in sports medicine, or a related field, for a post-football career in sports medicine, physical training or physical therapy. He knows that some of the schools he's considering are strong academically, and that wherever he goes, football will be a major, competing time commitment, but he's looking forward to proving himself in a college classroom.

"I would have to find a balance at whatever school I go to," he said. "I believe I'm capable of doing well on and off the field. I think I'm all about challenges, and I guess tougher the school is, the better education I'll receive."

Keep visiting The Bootleg for the latest on Stanford's recruitment of Anthony Barr and the Class of 2010.

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