Position: Athlete/Running Back/Linebacker/Safety
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.- Loyola HS
Weight: 225 pounds
Recruiting: UCLA offered Barr on September 1st, 2008, the first day that prospects in the class of 2010 could be officially offered. But he was verbally offered during the summer before. From the get-go, Notre Dame was the family favorite; his father and uncle both having played for the Irish, and his mom went to college in South Bend. Barr had offers from all over the country, including Michigan, Florida State, Cal, USC and the Irish. But the Bruins had the hometown edge and with Jerry Neuheisel a teammate at Loyola and good friend of Barr, UCLA was a constant. Barr narrowed it down to Notre Dame and UCLA and ultimately decided to stay close to home.
What to Like: Barr's size, at first impression, is what you want in a big athlete. At a legit 6-4 and 225, Barr looks like an elite athlete. And then on the field, he plays like one. Despite missing most of his senior year with an ankle injury, Barr showed as a junior just how talented he is. He has good speed and quickness for his size, and tremendous strength. He can play running back (though with Malcolm Jones and Jordon James also coming to UCLA, that's probably unlikely), H-Back, outside linebacker or possibly even safety. If he continues to get bigger, he could grow into a defensive end. Imagine a player bigger than Ryan Moya, with more speed and athleticism, catching the ball. Then imagine someone with his size playing outside linebacker. Scout.com Director of Scouting, Scott Kennedy, said about Barr: "He is as fluid an athlete as Terrelle Pryor, light on his feet, able to turn his hips and change directions like a wide receiver. What I expected was a power back. What I saw was the equivalent of putting one of the NFL's bigger receivers, like Larry Fitzgerald, and running him out of the backfield." Barr is a pure football player, and should thrive at whatever position he ends up playing for the Bruins.
What may be of concern: The biggest question will be how he responds from his ankle injury. It was a severe injury (requiring surgery) and he's had a somewhat lengthy rehab process. It will be interesting to see if he's all the way back this fall, or if he'll redshirt. The worry then could be, if he does redshirt, he will have not played a game in essentially two years before his redshirt freshman season. Then there is the questions about where he'll play. If he does play defense, Barr prefers safety, but we see him as an outside ‘backer. At this point, UCLA has taken his commitment as an athlete and will let it be determined later where Barr will fit in. So, finding him a position could be an issue (think back to Bruce Davis and how he was switched back and forth before finally settling in as a redshirt junior at defensive end).
Overall Analysis: This is a big get for the Bruins, who out-recruited several schools to get him, and were able to keep inroads at a school that they've always recruited well in Loyola (Matt Ware, Danny Farmer). Not only do they get a bigtime football prospect in Barr, but for UCLA getting Barr made a big impact with other recruits, especially several others who've gotten to know Barr, and while normally softspoken, Barr has been doing a lot of recruiting of his own for UCLA, which may pay big dividends down the road.
Here is a look at his senior season highlights from ScoutTV
#2 RB/S Anthony Barr