Bryton Barr makes most of UMass football’s Pro Day

  • Marquis Young during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Marquis Young during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Bryton Barr during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Bryton Barr during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Bryton Barr during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Bryton Barr during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Ross Comis during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Ross Comis during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Marquis Young during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Andy Isabella during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Marquis Young during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Andy Isabella during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Bryton Barr during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Bryton Barr during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Andy Isabella during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Ross Comis during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Marquis Young during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Bryton Barr during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Andy Isabella during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Bryton Barr during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Bryton Barr during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Bryton Barr and Ross Comis during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Andy Isabella during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Andy Isabella during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Marquis Young during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Andy Isabella and Ross Comis during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Andy Isabella during UMass Pro Day Thursday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 3/21/2019 8:54:22 PM

AMHERST — Bryton Barr had prepared for months to participate in the defensive drills Thursday during UMass’ pro day.

Yet when a scout walked up to him and asked him to run some routes, the undersized linebacker was ready to slip on some gloves and catch a few passes. Nevermind that Barr hadn’t caught a pass intended for him since high school some eight seasons ago.

“I had a scout walk up to me and was like ‘Hey, would you mind taking some fullback reps,’” Barr said. “I said ‘Not at all, I’ll play wherever you need me to,’ so I just stepped in and caught some balls. It brought back some good memories.”

Although most of the attention was set to be focused on Andy Isabella, the receiver only ran routes in front of the scouts before being taken to the side for sessions with individual teams. While Isabella was otherwise occupied, it was time for Barr and the dozen other pro hopefuls to impress in front of the scouts.

For many of the players who participated, this was their one shot to impress scouts and work their way into private workouts with teams. In many ways, it’s the pinnacle of their four — in Barr’s case seven — years of college football.

“It was definitely a day I’ve been training for my whole life,” Barr said. “Just to be able to step out here in front of NFL scouts is just a dream come true, especially with the journey that I’ve been through. ... I never thought I would be in this spot right here, but I’m very appreciative and on my knees thanking God for giving me this opportunity.”

Barr was one of the more popular players at the pro day because of his versatility. He took part in drills as a linebacker, defensive back and fullback, and joked he would learn how to long snap if it got him an NFL opportunity.

He spoke with most of the two dozen or so scouts who attended the pro day and the feedback was consistent. All of them were impressed by his work ethic and through he looked great on tape, even if the measurables aren’t necessarily there for Barr.

“It’s a crazy feeling,” Barr said. “I’m 5-11, I’m 223 pounds and not the fastest guy in the world. But they see my heart, they love the way I play and for them to show any interest is a dream come true. I haven’t made a team, come late April if I don’t, we’ll see what happens from there, but for them to show any sort of interest is just exciting.”

FORD ON THE MEND — Quarterback Andrew Ford was in attendance Thursday, but did not participate in any drills in the cold, windy conditions.

Ford is five months into a rehab program for a knee injury he suffered in October against Coastal Carolina that ended his college career. He said the worst part of the process has been missing out on participating in the all-star events like the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine, but said he’s also cautious about avoiding any setbacks on his road to recovery.

“I’m on the six-month plan here trying to get back as soon as possible but at the same time making sure I’m healthy,” Ford said. “For me, it’s being patient with it and not trying to do too much, but at the same time pushing myself to get back as fast as I can.”

The hope is that Ford will be cleared for May when teams hold their rookie mini-camps and other organized team activities (OTA). He said several teams inquired about his knee during the pro day and have shown interest in bringing him in for their offseason workouts in a few months.

He said he’s excited for the opportunity to prove himself in the future, but wants to make sure he’s fully healthy and ready to maximize the chance whenever it arrives.

“If I’m on that path for being back for the OTAs, all I can ask for is a chance,” Ford said. “The timetable sets up where I’ll hopefully be able to do that. I can’t really do anything about the situation I’m in, I just have to make sure I’m ready to go whenever they need me.”




Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2019 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy