Barber proving to be a cut above for WVU
By Bob Hertzel
Published: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 10:27 p.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia junior linebacker Jared Barber does not mince words when critiquing his play last season.
“I really disappointed myself and embarrassed myself and my family for the way I played and the way I prepared,” Barber said this week during the Mountaineers' preparations for Saturday's noon homecoming game against No. 16 Texas Tech (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) at Milan Puskar Stadium. “I went about things the complete wrong way, and I can't get it back.”
Barber is embracing his nasty side more this season, and it's paying off. He leads the Mountaineers (3-3, 1-2) in tackles with 41.
“This year I just came in and set my mind to playing hard and playing how I used to play,” he said. “That's all I'm trying to do — play hard, play with effort and play with a chip on my shoulder.”
Barber came to WVU from Davie High in Mocksville, N.C. He understood he was having problems last season, even though as a sophomore he played in 12 games, starting four of them.
“The coaches definitely told me I wasn't playing very well, and I could tell myself that I wasn't playing very well,” he said.
But it was something deeper than just technique.
“I wasn't enjoying playing football, to be honest with you. Things were going wrong, (and) that kind of hindered my emotional state,” he said, refusing to elaborate. “(Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson) and I had a great talk last spring, and he really helped me out about not letting my emotions affect me.
“You have to be the same person night-in and night-out. I set my mind to it and just kept working.”
Blocking things out mentally isn't always easy.
“You try as best as you can. Sometimes big things like family and stuff like that, you're thinking about it constantly, and I just let it get to me too much,” Barber said. “There needs to be a light switch.”
He turned on that switch this season. That was important, in particular, because Nick Kwiatkoski — WVU's best linebacker through three games — was sidelined for most of two games while recovering from a hamstring injury.
“We will get him back in the mix because he was our most productive linebacker after three games. He will make us better defensively,” Holgorsen said. “Jared is a guy that is solid, and much like (senior linebacker) Doug Rigg, they are program guys that are going to try hard and be in the right position. Nick is a guy that makes more dynamic plays. If he is healthy, he will be a starter.”
Bob Hertzel is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kovacevic: Bylsma’s moves — yes, moves — pay off
- McKeesport Area students may ‘have their cake and eat it too’
- New Kensington-Arnold lays groundwork for consolidation
- Apollo proposes wide-ranging ordinance on rental properties
- Clairton marks Month of Young Child with parade, assembly
- Penguins rally to escape with a victory in Game 1 against Columbus
- Mogie’s in Lower Burrell subject of hearing by Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for noise
- Physical Columbus team is a hit in playoff opener against Penguins
- 2 serious in New Ken stabbings
- Obama hopes to replicate CCAC job training efforts across United States
- Ballot issue to seek 0.25-mill property tax increase to support Springdale Free Public Library