But in a few weeks, Barron will prove that he's not only been the BMOC at Florida State, he'll likely also be the first offensive lineman selected in the NFL Draft, an honor befitting a two-time All-America performer who has the athletic ability of men half his size.
In fact, the former prep football and basketball star - he played
for his father, Alex Barron, Sr. - is so light on his feet he
considered walking onto the Florida State basketball team as a
freshman before a torn ACL in the Seminoles' first preseason
workout that year.
It was a tough way to begin his career at Florida State, but Barron
was undaunted and finished his career there as one of the top
linemen in school history. Need proof? Barron is one of just
seven former Seminoles to have their lockers enclosed in glass
for future players to see.
The others are nose guard Ron Simmons (1979-80), cornerback
Deion Sanders (1987-88), middle linebacker Marvin Jones
(1991-92), linebacker Derrick Brooks (1993-94), kicker
Sebastian Janikowski (1998-99) and receiver Peter Warrick
You'll notice that despite the fact the Seminoles have produced
such stars as Walter Jones and Tra Thomas, Barron is the first
offensive lineman to receive that honor.
He's that good.
"There's pressure on anybody who's being talked about being at
the top like that," said Barron of being considered the top
lineman available in this year's draft. "It comes with the territory.
I'm just trying to chill out and not let anything bother me."
Barron is currently living in his apartment in Tallahassee, lifting
weights and staying in shape for whatever team is lucky enough
to turn in the ticket with his name on it in New York April 23. As
school, the 22-year-old already owns a degree in Urban
Development Studies, having finished that up in the fall.
"School is no joke," said Barron, who figures to be selected in
the draft's first 10 to 15 picks. "I really wanted to get that
The fact he has already earned his degree shows Barron has
the mental makeup to play in the NFL. But scouts love his
athleticism. At Florida State's pro day, Barron had a vertical leap
of 38 inches and covered the 40-yard dash in 4.82 seconds. He
completed 21 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press, but
part of the reason he did fewer than many other offensive
linemen is the fact he has 38 1/2-inch arms. His total bench
press of 395 pounds shows he's more than strong enough to
handle the powerful linemen he'll face in the NFL.
"Alex has been one of our more consistent blockers in the years
he has started for FSU," coach Bobby Bowden told the
Associated Press about Barron. "He has been blessed with
phenomenal athletic ability and puts it to good use."
He also has the added experience of having played for a noted
character like Bowden, the winningest coach in NCAA Division
"Coach Bowden is a really interesting guy," said Barron. "He's
very intelligent and you just have to love his image and the great
speeches he gives. You can't help but love that. He's a great,
Barron said several teams showed a lot of interest in him at the
NFL's draft combine in Indianapolis, but he has not yet
scheduled any personal visits before the draft.
One team that would absolutely be interested in him is the
Steelers, who own the 30th pick in the draft. The Steelers will
likely take an offensive tackle in the first three rounds of the
but would have to move up at least 10 to 15 spots to have an
opportunity to select Barron.
"I talked to a lot of teams, kind of got to know them and let them
get to know me," said Barron, who counts among his favorite
players Jones, Thomas, Orlando Pace and Bob Whitfield. "I'm
sure I'll be visiting a few, but we haven't set anything up yet."
In the meantime, Barron is still enjoying hanging out with his
friends at Florida State's campus.
"I'm just here, working out and trying to get ready for what's
ahead," he said. "Other than that, I'm just hanging out."
Life is indeed good when you are the BMOC.
Lolley: Barron Out of Steelers Reach ?
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