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Coach says Conner QB Drew Barker fits exactly with the offense that Neal Brown runs

Drew Barker

Drew Barker


Conner quarterback Drew Barker works out daily before school throwing to receivers. Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown came to watch a January workout and didn’t need long to tell Conner coach David Trosper that Barker was the type of quarterback he liked to have run his offense.

“I think he fits exactly what Neal ran at Texas Tech,” Trosper said. “Neal had been impressed with what he had seen on film already. There’s no doubt he is a player. He rushed for over 1,500 yards and threw for over 2,000 last year. He is a combination type guy that can run and throw. He does a lot of checks at the line.

“We run the spread and he’s very versatile. He probably won’t be quite that way in college. He is not a sprinter, but he runs a 4.7 (second 40-yard dash). He’s 6-4, 215 now and will be 240 or 250 pounds in a few years with the same speed. He is a broad shouldered kid and can cause a lot of problems for defenses.”

Trosper said Louisville offensive coordinator Shawn Watson told him Barker has the “best release he has seen in 21 years of coaching” and Trosper says the “common person” can’t stand 10 yards away from Barker and catch his ball.

“He really peppers it. It comes out of his hand hot. He has that gift,” Trosper said. “He has a tight, compact release. That’s the reason the big dogs like him. He throws a pretty ball.”

Barker had met Brown when he went to Kentucky for an unofficial visit to see a basketball game. Before that, the two had talked on the phone often. Barker was at UK’s first Junior Day and even posted pictures of himself in the Kentucky dressing room wearing UK jerseys.

“We have a good understanding of each other, but it was good to meet coach Brown in person the first time. That’s going to be a big part of my whole college decision. Just the people you will be around is important. He could be coaching me the next four or five years,” Barker said. “It’s big to have a good relationship and really know the guy who will coach you.

“I thought he was genuine and very straight forward. Some guys come off like used car salesmen trying to make their points. He seemed very genuine and tells it like it is. I really liked him.”

Brown is only 32, but Barker says age is no factor.

“That didn’t really even come to my mind. Younger coaches, if anything, tend to have more energy and fire. They can be a little crazy and run around more, and that’s kind of cool,” Barker laughed and said. “I could tell all the coaches at Kentucky were hungry and want to get on the right track and the program turned around.”

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  1. Love SEC F-Ball

    Seems like a good kid & a great prospect – “Throwing daily with his receivers” –
    Four Star Kentucky kid – Glad to see us in the hunt for these players.
    Good luck Drew this year and we hope to see you in Wildcat Blue!

  2. Ben

    Seems like a great young man! Does anyone know if he and his family are KY fans? It is always special to have a great KY kid! Here is hoping he becomes a Cat.

  3. Ira

    My understanding is he like UK basketball and hasn’t been a FB fan so much. Probably having to do with the results on the field aka Joker.

    My son is growing up that way, big basketball fan, but when it’s all said an done he is a Gator fan…thx Tebow. But can’t complain about the role model. He has always done it right.

  4. Tcat

    I saw this kid in the playoffs this past year and he’s with out a doubt the best HS QB I’ve ever had a chance to see… I’m only 27 so I didn’t see Tim Couch but some people I’ve talked to who did say this kid reminds them of him so much. Also got to love the athleticism, all the best spread teams have QB’s that can pick up that first down in a pinch. The most important player in this class IMO.

    1. larryvaught

      TCat, hear a lot of great things about him, but thanks for that personal insight

  5. Larry Pup

    It sounds like Watson( UofL) and Brown are both really high on him. I sure hope he dons the Blue and White. I think he could be special for UK in Brown’s offense.


    Sign him up. Can’t go wrong signing a kid that wears the red, white and blue. :)

  7. RJ

    I’ve also seen him play. Loooooooots of potential at a collegiate QB. Here’s one that if we can grab should come in, red shirt a year to grow up, and then start as a red shirt freshman. Drew is has NFL potential. Lots of good schools will recruit him. But at KY, he’s a sure fire starter as a RS freshman. Frankly, if he was a little heavier, he could start now. Accuracy as good as Smith and a better arm than anyone on KY’s squad at the moment. His release is lightening fast.

    1. Ira


      would love to have this kid no doubt about it, but don’t think he would start over a SR as in Maxwell Smith and that will who will be the QB when he comes in as a freshman barring any injuries of course and don’t forget, Towles and Whitlow both have great potential in this new offense.

      Barker can have great success here, he can be surrounded by really good WR’s. we are recruiting them to go along with him. Think some offensive guys are waiting on Barker to commit. If he would pull the trigger others would follow suit.

      1. RJ

        I agree. That’s why you red shirt him. Max has the experience and maturity. So by the time Drew spends his red shirt year, Max will graduate. With Smith and Towles with big arms, Whitlow should go the route of Cobb, wide reciever. It didn’t work out so bad for him did it.

        But this kid (Barker) there will be no holding him back once he has grown into the system and has the experience and knowledge.

  8. coldspringmike

    Another home grown northern Kentucky QB. Jared, Patrick and now Drew. We’ll keep em coming as long as UK still keeps taking em.

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