March 28, 2023

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Diamond in the Rough: John Barr

Photo given to me by John Barr.

John Barr is a class of 2023 wide receiver out of Sterlington High School in Sterlington, Louisiana. Standing at 6’4″ and weighing 195 pounds with a 4.0 GPA, the senior can bench 275 pounds and squat 405 pounds. Barr is the kind of guy who can use his size to bully his way to the ball in the air, and an even tougher blocker. Earlier this week, I had the courtesy to speak with Barr on his game.

Q: Why do you play the game?
“It’s the sport I fell in love with growing up. There’s just something different about being out there… You have a family out there. I think that’s where most friendships are made out there.”

Q: Where do you see football going in your life?
“I plan to take football to the next level. I can play at the collegiete level, and then hopefully keep working my way up and keep pushing myself to work harder and harder. Hopefully, one day, [I will] make it to the dream I’ve always had growing up.”

Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned playing football?
“Hard work beats talent. 100%. [I learned that by] starting to apply it to myself. I made a jump that just blew my mind.”

Q: What does football mean to you?
“Football is everything to me. I’ve grown up playing it, and that’s what I think about all day, every day. I wish every kid could feel the way I do about football.”

Q: What challenges have you overcome?
“All through middle school, I broke three collarbones in back-to-back-to-back years. It caused a lot of doubt in my life and made me doubt playing it. My parents did not want me to play anymore, because they didn’t want me to keep getting hurt, but I just kept trusting the process and kept working. It paid off in the end.”

Q: What motivates you to keep playing, despite having broken those three collarbones in back-to-back years?
“I mean, it was the sport I loved. Everybody would alwasy tell me the potential I had, but I didn’t work for anything. Once I started putting in the work and saw the changes that were starting to come, I stayed with it. Everything started to work out.”

Q: How do you balance sports with your other responsibilities?
“I feel like my other responsibilities come first. Football is right there at second, and if I’m not doing anything else I’m going to be at the field working or in the weight room working. Whenever I get the chance, I’m always going to be right there with football.”

Q: Do you have a favorite football memory?
“Seeing that clock tick down last year, winning the [3A] state championship. There is no better feeling than going 15-0 and winning it. Watching the time tick down on the clock in Caesar’s Superdome.”

Q: How do you stay trained and in football-shape during the offseason?
“I don’t get out of the weight room. I stay in the weight room. That’s where I live; I love it. I fell in love with working out. But on top of that, I like to run routes two or three times a week and work on my footwork. Things of that manner.”

Q: How are you looking to improve your game?
“I need to work on my footwork the most. Just getting a lot quicker with my feet. I have speed once I get going, but I’m such a big guy. It can be hard for me to get going at first.”

Q: On the other side, what is the strongest aspect of your game?
“I would say my size, and my ability to beat people in the longball. [Really, just] creating separation.”

Q: What are some goals you’ve set for yourself?
“To go out on top this year. Win us another one. [Another goal of mine is] to be the first person in my family to play at the collegiate level of football. Those are my main two goals right now, but then as life goes on, I’m going to keep making those goals harder and harder and keep working towards them.”

Q: Do you try to model your game after any players, pro or collegiate?
“JaMarr Chase. I’ve been watching JaMarr Chase. 2019 LSU was different. I fell in love with him and I still continue to watch him to this day. I’ll even watch people break down his routes and things of that manner and I try to model my game like his.”

Q: What is your favorite part of playing wide receiver?
“The offense we run is straight veers, so we don’t throw the ball very much. So, I’ll probably say blocking. There’s nothing better than getting a pancake out there on the football field as a receiver.”

Q: Do you consider football to be more physically challenging, mentally challenging, or a bit of both?
“I would say mentally challenging more than anything. It is physically tough on the body, just because of going and playing on a Friday night game, and then right back to work on Monday. But you tend to doubt yourself a lot, and you’ve got to be able to control your mind, mindset, and emotions on the field. You’ve got to be mentally strong to play.”

Q: What is something you want your coaches to know about you, past, present, or future?
“I’m a hard worker. I’m the first person on and the last person off the field. I love to work. I feel like if you put in the work, good things will come.

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