Anthony Barr is Focused on Two

UCLA and Notre Dame are the two primary schools of interest for the five-star athlete from Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola, Anthony Barr...

Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola running back Anthony Barr has had Notre Dame in the family tree since before he was born, and the Irish have long been one of his favorites.

But Barr wasn't surprised at all with the decision to relieve Charlie Weis of his duties.

"In the weeks building up to it, I had heard it more and more, so I wasn't all that surprised," said Barr. "I'll be interested in seeing who they bring in."

With his father a former Notre Dame running back, Barr said the family wasn't too surprised either.

"My family understands it's a business, that coaches come and go and it's part of the game," said Barr. "So they were understanding especially with all of the speculation building up. So it wasn't like a huge shocker."

Barr, though, is still strongly considering the Irish, who are one of his top two, along with UCLA.

"For about the last month, I've been focused on Notre Dame and UCLA," said Barr. "I'm going to try and take an unofficial visit to UCLA this weekend, and I think I'm visiting there officially on January 15th. I'm still talking to UCLA pretty often. There is always the possibility of more schools, but right now, I'm just focusing on UCLA and Notre Dame."

Barr said the UCLA coaches want him as an athlete, and with two running backs in Malcolm Jones and Jordon James already committed, defense is likely in his future should he commit to the Bruins.

"I think I'll learn more of that when I take a visit there, that's why I'm going to try to take an unofficial this coming weekend to UCLA. But I just stay in contact with the coaches and I want to see where they plan to play me," said Barr.

With one teammate, John Young, already committed to the Bruins, and another teammate, Jerry Neuheisel, having strong ties to the Bruin program, Barr said he hears a lot about UCLA on a daily basis.

"Jerry is fine, there is no pressure from him," said Barr. "But John is always in my head about UCLA. But really, no one is really pressuring me at all."

Barr visited Notre Dame officially during the season, so any meetings he'll have with the new staff will take place during the in-home visits.

"I don't want to say the in-home will be crucial, but I definitely want to see who they bring in. That will be a good little thing to know to sort of make a decision. I think coaches are important, no matter what happens, but with a new staff, I want to see where I stand. I'm going to try and give them a fair shot, but the relationships can't be replaced. So I'm just going to sit back and see who they bring in."

Barr said he spoke with assistant coach Brian Polian this week, but like the rest of the Irish staff, his status is uncertain.

The two-way prospect wants to see where the new staff envisions him playing.

"Really, I know the only thing that I would like to know is the new coach's philosophy," said Barr. "I want to see where I fit in there and what kind of relationship with the coaches I'll have. I want to see where the new coach sees me. I don't think necessarily is has to be on the kind of offense they'll run, more so the position that they want me to play so I can compare that to what I was told prior to Coach Weis' firing. I know there is more learning that needs to be done so I'm just going to have to see where I fit into the new scheme."

Barr was selected to the U.S. Army All-American Game, though he'll be sidelined as he continues to recover from a season ending ankle injury that cost him the majority of his senior year.

"I'll be down there for a couple of days so that will be cool," said Barr. "The ankle is alright. I go in again for surgery on the 9th or 10th to get the screws removed. After that, I'm supposed to be able to run again pretty soon after."


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