Well, at least he didn't choose Southern Cal...
As yet another long and eventful recruiting season slowly meanders toward National Signing Day on February 3rd, the Fighting Irish received some bad news on Thursday evening: Notre Dame legacy and decorated high school athlete Anthony Barr decided to cast his lot with his hometown UCLA Bruins. Barr told Rivals.com that, "it was the hardest decision of my life...I will always be a Notre Dame fan."
Barr is a classy young man and he will perform well at UCLA, which is an excellent school.
Barr, the son of former Notre Dame tailback Tony Brooks and nephew of legendary Notre Dame running back Reggie Brooks, grew up in Los Angeles with his mother. In recent days, Irish head coach Brian Kelly had indicated to Barr that he was interested in playing Barr at wide receiver, which Barr was not reportedly too keen on. His preference is to play either safety or running back. Reports that I've read indicate that UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisal has promised Barr that he would get a crack at those two positions.
Taking a look at his film, you can understand why so many coaches were excited about this kid's potential at safety. Standing 6'4", Barr possesses a sturdy frame with room to fill out a bit. Though he is not blessed with breakaway speed, he runs with grace and would appear to be an ideal fit to roam the sidelines on the defensive side of the ball, where he could wreak havoc as a ball-hawking safety or rangy outside linebacker. His versatility could eventually transform him into a speed rusher off the edge.
No matter how you look at it, losing out on Barr is unsettling if you're an Irish fan.
Moving forward, it will be a small victory if Brian Kelly can manage to secure the recruits he inherited from Charlie Weis while snatching a few of the remaining elite recruits, such as Seantrel Henderson, Matt James and Ego Ferguson.