Started 11 games at linebacker, missing the UConn game … earned second-team All-BIG EAST honors … was selected to play in the East-West Shrine game … posted 80 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 6.5 TFL, three PBU and two forced fumbles … recorded at least seven tackles in eight of his 11 games … his 7.3 tackles per game ranked eighth in the BIG EAST … the 80 tackles were a career high and ranked second on the team … tallied four tackles, a sack and two TFL in the season opener versus Chattanooga … notched eight tackles, two forced fumbles and a PBU at Nevada … posted nine tackles and a TFL versus Rutgers … added six tackles and a PBU at Ball St. … tallied five tackles and a PBU against Florida St. … recorded eight tackles at Temple … posted 10 tackles and a half TFL at Louisville … added eight tackles versus Syracuse … notched seven tackles and a half sack at Miami … tallied eight tackles and a half TFL at Cincinnati … recorded seven tackles and two sacks in his final game against Pitt.
Started all 12 games at linebacker … finished third on the team in tackles with 72 and added 2.5 sacks, 6.5 TFL, two PBU, an INT and a forced fumble … posted nine tackles at Notre Dame … collected seven tackles against Ball State … registered three tackles against FAMU … returned his first career INT 30 yards for a TD against UTEP … established a career-high with nine tackles and a pressure at Pitt … posted six tackles, 1.5 sacks and a PBU at UConn … registered six tackles, a TFL and a pressure against Cincinnati … tied career-high with nine tackles and set a career high with two TFL, including a sack, at Rutgers … posted six tackles and a pressure at Syracuse … added five tackles and a TFL versus Miami … notched six tackles against Louisville … tallied five tackles, a PBU and a forced fumble versus West Virginia.
Appeared in 13 games, starting 11, at linebacker … finished third on the team in tackles with 65 to go along with a half sack, 6.5 TFL, a pressure, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and three PBU … tallied eight tackles at Florida … posted a team-high six tackles and a half TFL versus WKU … notched eight tackles, 1.5 TFL, a pressure and a forced fumble against FAU … added seven tackles and a PBU versus Syracuse … posted three tackles at WVU … tallied a career-high nine tackles and a forced fumble at Cincinnati … posted five tackles and a TFL against Rutgers … added three tackles at Louisville … notched two tackles and a TFL versus Pitt … tallied six tackles, a TFL and a PBU at Miami… recorded three tackles and recovered a fumble against Connecticut … notched four tackles, a half sack, 1.5 TFL and a PBU in the Meineke Car Care Bowl victory over Clemson.
Appeared in 13 games, starting one, at linebacker as a true freshman … named to All-BIG EAST Freshman Team by ESPN.com … racked up 41 tackles, two TFL and a PBU … opened the season with three tackles against Wofford … added five stops against Charleston Southern … notched four tackles at Florida State … notched five tackles and a half TFL at Pitt … added three tackles and a half TFL at Rutgers … tallied six tackles and a half TFL against Miami … posted a season-high seven tackles and a half TFL against UConn … added three tackles in the International Bowl win over Northern Illinois.
COMBINE: 4.91 40-yard dash, 22 bench, 32.5 inch vertical, 117 inch broad jump
Sam had a knack for the big play (off the top of my head I can remember his forced fumble at the goal line against Nevada, his pick six to put away to UTEP game, and his forced fumble against West Virginia that almost won us the game. Man, we didn’t win many games the last couple seasons, did we?) because he was built for it. He’s an athletic, instinctive player who can just as easily cause havoc in the backfield as he can drop into coverage. He was a little small over his USF career, listed at 230 pounds, but he weighed in at 246 at the combine, which is certainly a good sign.
But I can’t say he was always productive, because he wasn’t. Sam can disappear for large chunks of games, and for all his talent, never really turned into the tackling machine that he could have been. When you heard Sam’s name mentioned, it was usually a good sign-but you could go a whole game without hearing his name.
For what it’s worth, Sam was also plagued by minor violations and suspensions throughout his career. Usually nothing more serious than driving-with-an-expired-license level, but it happened multiple times and caused him to miss multiple games. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s not something Bulls fans liked to see out of their senior leader in a season where they really needed any playmaker they had on the field.
I personally don’t see Sam getting drafted, and I don’t think most “experts” do either. But there are much worse players to take a late-round flyer on than Sam Barrington. He’s an athlete and a playmaker who’s seen substantial action at both linebacker positions. Most players with his kind of talent haven’t put up his kind of numbers, and the few that have probably won’t be available, as he will be, in the late rounds.
Â COMMENTARY: There’s room at linebacker after the release of D.J. Smith so the Packers grabbed another one with their last pick. He’s a linebacker, but on the surface, it lookls like Barrington could play either outside or inside. Barrington got arrested four times for driving with a suspended license. Yeah, it’s a minor infraction, but four times?!?! Sheesh. Like a lot of the Packers’ late-round picks, Barrington has raw skill, but it’s unclear if anything will be made of it. I feel like a broken record typing this today, but if we see Barrington on the field much in 2013, it will probably be on special teams. Let’s check back in in 2014 to see if Barrington is A) still on the team, B) improving, or C) finally driving with a valid license.
Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.