Junior to Watch: C.J. Barber
School: Rock Hill (S.C.) Northwestern HS
Size and speed: Barber is 6-foot-2, weighs 215 pounds, and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.
Statistics: As a junior, he recorded six interceptions.
Honors: Was named all-region at defensive back.
Favorite Schools: South Carolina, Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee.
Skinny: Projecting a college position for one of South Carolina’s top players could become more difficult if his body continues to develop at the rate his coach describes.
Rock Hill standout C.J. Barber has gone from 6-foot, 180 pounds to 6-foot-2, 215 pounds in the last two years and shows no signs of stopping the spurt.
“We’ve always thought he’d be a defensive back or wide receiver, but at the rate he’s growing and pumping that steel in the weight room, he could wind up being a running back,” Northwestern coach Jimmy Wallace said. “He’s going to be about 225 pounds next season. With that kind of size and speed, a lot of people say running back may be his best spot. We may use him there ourselves.”
Wallace describes Barber as a “gifted athlete” who excels in whatever he plays.
“He’s a three-sport guy – football, basketball and track,” he said. “He’s one of the best that I’ve been around. And he’s very aggressive. He’s a competitor.”
Schools showing early interest include South Carolina, Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
“We’ve heard from just about anybody and everybody,” Wallace said. “We sent out about 35 or 40 videos here recently to people asking about him. He’s going to have a lot of options.”
Any so far?
“He has some offers, but we’re kind of keeping that quiet right now so he can concentrate on the academic side of things,” Wallace said. “We need him to attack the classroom as hard as he does the football field. I think he’s very capable of qualifying, but he’s got to concentrate on getting his core GPA as high as possible.”