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Drew Barker tries to beat the odds


There are currently over 600 quarterbacks in FBS football. The young men joined the ranks of NCAA Division 1 football hoping to become the heroes of the school and dreaming of one day starting in the NFL. However, that dream just might be a little harder than the movies show.

With Whitlows departure, the spot for starting quarterback is left wide open. Thousands of quarterbacks have participated in NCAA football over the last ten years. Yet less than a handful have been successful in what Drew Barker is trying to accomplish.

Out of hundreds of BCS quarterbacks, there have only been 15 to start as true freshmen for a BCS Conference school since 2003 and the results have been nothing short of mixed. Of those 15 true freshmen, the completion percentages vary from as low as 39.5% to as high as 60.2%, both of which have room for improvement.

True freshmen usually have attributes that are in question from arm strength, to awareness, to vision and whatever else you can question. However, shouldn’t we just worry about how efficient they are? Of those 15 true freshmen that started for a BCS conference school, only two of them had a passer efficiency below 100. Is 100.0 passing efficiency good? Not necessarily. But for comparison sake it shows a good baseline of what has happened in the past.

The BCS might be dead, but the stigma of those power conferences will live on along with the rare feat of a true freshmen starting for a major FBS program. Does it always work out? In some ways yes and in some ways no, but it is rare that a player who doesn’t possess the skills necessary to start as a true freshmen will ever be thrown into that situation. However, as BBN has found out, it is not quite unheard of. Regardless of the rarities, more often than not when a young man is entrusted with the keys to an offense as a true freshman, he usually writes his name into his school’s football history.

Over the years, we have seen such history writing and perhaps it is UK’s turn to grab the pen and write it’s own chapter.

Take former Georgia Bulldog Matt Stafford for example. Stafford trotted out onto field against UAB for his first start as a true freshman and proceeded to lead the Bulldogs to a 34-0 victory followed by helping Georgia to an impressive win against Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. We all know the story from that point on, it worked out pretty well for both him and Georgia

Like Barker, Stafford graduated early from high school and enrolled at his college destination in January. It should be noted that Stafford played only sparingly until his first start which occurred in the fourth week of his freshman year. This formula could end up being Barker’s, the only question is when might his first start take place?

Barker has all eyes on him at the moment, but has not shown the pressure on the field so far. Barker looks at the stats not as a distraction, but rather more like a challenge to join the ranks of successful true freshmen quarterbacks of the past.

Article written by Courtney Hessler

Ashley Judd is my spirit animal. Follow me on twitter at: @Hessler_KSR

8 Comments for Drew Barker tries to beat the odds

  1. C....A....T....S....CATS!
    6:15 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink


    I feel like I just spent 5 minutes reading something that told me NOTHING!

    Let’s see… Drew Barker is trying to accomplish something rare… something not done very frequently…


    Anything Else???


  2. Clarify
    6:24 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Did you mean to say that of the 15 true freshmen to start at QB for a BCS school since 1993, only 2 had a passer efficiency ABOVE 100?

    This lack of success of freshmen QB’s in the BCS is not surprising. The success rate is probably even lower in the SEC. All the more reason not to anoint Drew Barker as savior of UK football. Not fair to put that on him because the QB position, while the most visible and difficult, is only a small part of our problems. Still too many other holes in the program.

  3. bung
    7:31 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    I spect Towles will start…

  4. Jim 1
    9:01 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Whoever starts will most likely struggle and at this time it appears to be Towles. Towlles came to UK and played under one of the worst offensive coaches in the history of UK football. Hopefully the qb coach who worked with him over the summer will help..

    Both Towles and Barker came out of high school with outstanding credentials. Maybe one of them can become the next Tim Couch. UK football deserves that kind of help.

  5. May as well start Barker
    6:08 am April 19, 2014 Permalink

    It’s a gamble, but if he turns out to be special, it’s worth getting him started early. The alternative isn’t going to make UK football any worse than it has been over the past several years…

  6. lou eaton
    8:52 am April 19, 2014 Permalink

    It would appear to me if my name is Towles that there is a tremendous push by the local media for Barker to start no matter what happens during competition. Okay, he is capable and has been a good recruiter or at least it appears. BUT can we simply have the competition on the field and let the coaches decide. I believe how Towles gets treated during this process will be a barometer about how future high profile KY HS players may view UK…let someone win the job ON THE FIELD!!!!!

  7. jj
    3:46 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

    Good thing Barker is a greyshirt freshman and not a true fresman.

  8. jj
    3:50 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

    *green shirt freshman.