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By LARRY VAUGHT
Conner quarterback Drew Barker thinks the best part of his game, and something he says is translating more to the NFL, is his ability to be elusive.
“I can run around and make the defense play 11 on 11 and account for the quarterback,” Barker said. “If you have to worry about the quarterback running, it is a whole different game and lot harder for the defense to defense. My ability to run is one of my biggest assets. It helps me in the passing game. If a defense loads up the box for the run, I just throw on them. If they play back, I tuck the ball and run.”
Last season Barker ran 218 times for 1,422 yards and 18 touchdowns and completed 140 of 225 passes for 2,067 yards and 22 scores with just seven interceptions. As a sophomore in 2011, he ran for 1,371 yards and 22 scores on 212 carries and completed 93 of 181 passes for 1,009 yards and four scores. He got in four games as a freshman and rushed for 178 yards and one score and threw for 28 yards by completing nine of 15 passes. For his career, he’s rushed for 2,971 yards and 41 touchdowns and thrown for 3,104 yards and 26 scores.
Barker, who also starts on the basketball team, is a tireless worker. He started his pre-school workouts as a sophomore.
“At first, I really didn’t like it. You have to adjust to waking up and coming in at 6 a.m. every morning. But I really embrace it now,” Barker said. “Nobody has to push me. Sometimes my parents ask me why I just don’t sleep in. But I’ve got to go in and work out and lift and throw whether it is in the gym or outside. I want to get better. If you are not working, somebody else is.”
Barker was interested in the signees various schools had earlier this month, but said what happened then will not “sway” his college choice.
“I don’t have top set of schools. I am going to take visits in the spring and after that I will have a pretty good idea and understanding of what my top schools will be,” the Conner quarterback said. “I plan to make a decision in late April or early May. I want to go to spring practice, I will make a spring game or two.
“If I don’t know what my decision should be in April or May, then I won’t make it. I am not going to rush. I just want to make sure I am going to the right school and right place for me. I hopefully can do that early and then help recruit other players.”
Barker certainly understands the value of social media and how to use it to interact with others. When he was freshman, he contacted various media members about his career and invited calls to talk about his play. He said he felt he had to do that because most attention in northern Kentucky was focused on Patrick Towles of Highlands and Zeke Pike of Dixie Heights, two older quarterbacks who were both Division I signees.
“I saw them getting all those offers. Before that, I wasn’t even planning on playing college football. It was maybe in the back of my head, but I saw the attention they were getting and thought maybe I should also try to get my name out there for people to watch,” Barker said. “I wanted to get a little buzz going about me.
“I sent out film to a ton of people. I probably sent film to over 300 people by myself. Now it’s really cool to see how this has all worked out. Instead of me pursuing attention, schools are now pursuing me. It is definitely a blessing to have all these opportunities to play college football. I could never have expected all of this, but I am enjoying it very much.”