Ohio State’s 2016 recruiting class – the country’s fourth-ranked class – featured 25 signees from 11 states and many of those players are expected to contribute to the Buckeyes’ on-field success early in their careers.
Join Landof10.com as we introduce you to the next wave of Buckeyes in our Young Bucks series, focusing today on defensive tackle Malik Barrow.
Who is Malik Barrow?
When he committed to Ohio State, Tampa-native Malik Barrow was a 6-foot-2, 255-pound defensive end, fresh off a transfer to the IMG Academy, where he was looking for his chance to prove he was a big-time prospect. He verballed to the Buckeyes during a trip to Columbus for Ohio State’s 2015 spring football game knowing he was where he wanted to be.
- Height: 6-foot-2
- Weight: 288
- Number: 55
- Hometown: Tampa, Fla.
- High School: IMG Academy
- Composite Ranking: 30 (DT)
- High School Highlights
“I wanted a great school with great football and great coaches that will help me get where I want to be,” Barrow told Eleven Warriors about his choice.”Ohio State was the best fit for me.”
As noted, Barrow transferred to IMG as a senior, deciding to leave Tampa Catholic and test himself against the country’s best competition day in, day out at IMG.
What does he bring to Ohio State?
Outside of the measurables that every college coach looks for and can see, the one thing that Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer wants the most from his players is for them to be a competitor, and there’s no doubt that Barrow fits that description. When he arrived at IMG as just one of a number of Ascenders transfers, the expectations weren’t necessarily high for Barrow, but, early in the season he absolutely blew up and did so in front of a national audience.
— Ryan Donnelly (@RDonnellyBG) August 30, 2015
After a pair of big-time performances against nationally-ranked teams, Barrow saw his recruiting ranking skyrocket. He jumped into the Top 100 of the composite rankings and was on his way to having a huge senior season when he suffered a season-ending knee injury.
When he was healthy, Barrow was emerging as a national presence because of his exceptional first step and and athleticism that was a bit surprising for a player of his size. Now healthy again, he’ll look to bring those skills to the interior of Ohio State’s defensive line. He enrolled early with the Buckeyes, arriving in January and immersing himself in Mickey Marotti’s strength and conditioning program at Ohio State while he finished rehabbing his knee.
Will he play as a freshman?
It’s unlikely Barrow will see much action — or even play at all — because the injury prevented him from going full-speed in the spring. Now at 288 pounds, he’s been working hard to get himself physically ready for collegiate competition, clearly.
— Jeremy Birmingham (@Birm) March 10, 2016
However, physical transformation is not all that’s necessary to find a way into Larry Johnson’s rotation. The Buckeyes will enter this fall inexperienced at defensive tackle but there are several good players vying for the second-team reps behind Tracy Sprinkle and Michael Hill. It may be a challenge for Barrow to beat out players like Robert Landers, Dremont Jones and Davon Hamilton, who have more time in the program and are a bit more ready to contribute.
Barrow has a big future in Columbus, but it will probably get started in 2017.