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Published: Thursday, 12/28/2000

Playing in Outback Bowl special enough for Barre

BY DAVE WOOLFORD
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

TAMPA, Fla. - B.J. Barre said his “OSU” was Oklahoma State University.

Now it's Ohio State University.

The freshman free safety from Whitmer High School is a member of the Buckeyes' special teams and will participate on kickoff and punt teams New Year's Day when OSU meets South Carolina in the Outback Bowl in Raymond James Stadium.

If he does nothing more, he won't be any less happy.

“I'm not disappointed with the place I'm in and I'll have to battle hard for the free safety position next spring, but if I don't get it and have to do the same things I did this year, I won't have a problem with that,” Barre said.

“Everything is coming good. The hardest things has been learning defenses and coverages. I don't consider speed to be that much of an issue because I feel I have the speed to play at this level.”

Barre was more heavily recruited as a basketball player at Whitmer. He said schools such as Kentucky, Kansas and Illinois along with most Mid-American Conference schools showed interest in him as a basketball player, with Illinois offering him a scholarship.

“Deciding whether to play basketball or football was one of the biggest decisions I've ever had to make,” he said. “I came to Ohio State to play football because of the guys and the atmosphere. I just wanted to get on the field and be a Buckeye.

“I can do basketball as a recreation activity. I can't do that with football.”

The 6-1, 185-pound Barre lived with his mother, Cheryl Myricks, in Oklahoma. When his mother moved to Toledo he stayed in Oklahoma with his grandmother. He later decided to move to Toledo and join his mother.

Barre was rated the No. 2 cornerback in the Midwest by one recruiting publication and also rushed for 1,245 yards as a senior.

Barre said he won't return to Toledo after his career at OSU because it's “too cold.”

There have been rumors that Barre asked to become a wide receiver next season, but he won't comment on that.



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