December 9, 2008

Barnas excited about future at SU

Garrett Barnas could be a hidden gem that the Syracuse Orange caught onto at the right time. Even though he had his season going on he was still able to keep tabs on the Orange. This year the record might have not been there, but Barnas still liked what he saw.

"I have to think the future is bright. If I didn't, I wouldn't be coming. From my count, SU has about 40 or so underclassmen that saw action this year, many of them playing key roles. In the right system, with the right attitude, this translates into a huge upside. "

The wins did not show up in 2008, but Barnas was impressed with a few of his future teammates and what they were able to accomplish this season.

"I've said before that I have watched this team play and have seen what I consider are very talented players. Was there a better defensive show all year than Arthur Jones' performance at Notre Dame? Bailey is lightning fast, explodes to the hole and has the skills of an upperclassman. The receiving corp is young and fleet, and there are a lot of them. The offensive line seems quite improved from when I saw them play a year ago November versus South Florida up in Syracuse. In the games I saw this year, they had leads they couldn't hold. When I see teams that have good seasons, it's not rocket science. Their offense sustained drives, they get the ball into the playmakers hands and keep moving the chains, they get defensive stops when they are really needed, they use underclassmen only in the right situations, and they have coaching staffs that make the necessary adjustments as the game unfolds. Not for a minute trying to show any disrespect to the staff or players, my sense is SU didn't do enough of these things."

Even though he is excited to get on campus early to meet his new teammates he will be focused on some early goals. So, what exactly are the goals Barnas will be looking to accomplish at Syracuse?

"To learn and lead. I love the game of football and I want to be a student of it as well. It is my hope that by playing with and against the best, it will make me better. I will be competing at QB and that requires determined leadership and helping my teammates become better. I am determined to help this program return to prominence in the Big East. If I can make a contribution whereby that happens, I will have had a successful time within the program."

The three star prospect is leaving home for pretty much the first time and the family factor made him think long and hard about his decision.

"Like most players who go away to play I will miss my family. My step dad coached me and my mom and brothers have watched me play since I was in Pop Warner. Each has played a key role in my life. This decision is not easy on them. I hope they can come to see me play as much as possible."

Now Barnas will be leaving home and playing at a higher level of competition, so what will be the biggest adjustment he will have to make?

"Most haven't seen many players at the JuCo level play. I think many would be surprised at just how fast some of these kids are. Throwing the ball to where they will be, not where they just were, was my biggest adjustment moving from high school to junior college. I can only assume this will be one of the key adjustments I will have to make moving up to D-I. I also think learning a new scheme will be a challenge, but everyone will be in the same boat as far as that goes. We ran a Texas Tech-style spread and put up big numbers. If we go with something like that, my learning curve will not be as long as it might otherwise be. I am up to the challenge."

Barnas will only have two season to Play for the Orange, so fans will not get to see him progress like a high school commit. With that being said Barnas has some words for those fans that do not know much about him.

"It's important to me to know they will accept a player like me with only two years to play. All that I have done these last two years has prepared me for this opportunity. I'm a competitor. I plan to compete hard. If I am fortunate enough to win a starting role and they get behind not just me, but the whole team and a new staff in a renewed way, I think great things are possible. I've always played with the support of the fans. It's energizing to me and to most any player. I want the SU faithful know I will work hard in the gym, in the classroom and in the local community as much as I can to be an impact leader on and off the field. The only time I am a troublemaker is when I have a defense in front of me."



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