If you look at Will Barker ’s junior-year film, you’ll see a tall, athletic offensive tackle/defensive end that has the frame to add a lot more weight. What you won’t see is the 40-pounds Barker has added over this off-season.
Through hard work in the weight room (and a lot of eating), the Haverford (PA) star is now up to 280-pounds, and he says he’s carrying it well.
“[Yesterday] we measured and I was 6-7, 280-pounds,” Barker said. “280 was what I was hoping to get to by the time the season started. I was about 240-pounds last year. I’ve done a lot of lifting and I’ve been eating better. I don’t feel different though. I can still move the way I did before.”
The added weight and strength has given Barker a whole new sense of confidence heading into his senior season.
“I feel a lot more confident heading into this year,” Barker said. “My speed, strength and attitude are all better. I’m more committed to what I’m doing, and I’m more confident.”
A tremendous athlete, Barker will continue to play lacrosse in addition to football this year. Though his commitment lies with football, he stills enjoys playing lacrosse – the sport he originally was thinking about playing in college.
“I’ve been playing lacrosse a lot longer than football,” Barker said. “I was looking seriously at doing that in college, and I was getting some interest after going to lacrosse camps. Then I started getting more involved in football, so I started thinking more about that in college. I’m glad I did.”
Barker, who committed to Virginia on April 1, 2004, was originally recruited as a “jumbo athlete” with the ability to play on the offensive line or defensive end. As he has developed physically over the past year, Barker feels offensive tackle is now his projected position.
“At the beginning of the process, they were recruiting me as a defensive end or offensive tackle,” Barker said of UVa. “As time went by, I think they started really thinking of me as a tackle. I think that’s where I’m projected, but I guess I could play another position too.”
Barker committed to Virginia after visiting Charlottesville for a men’s basketball game. It was a junior day for UVa football. Will’s next visit to UVa would come during another junior day, but this time a basketball game was not included.
“I went for the Junior Day on June 12th,” Barker said. “I thought I might have taken another trip since...
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