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Marion Barber III RB Minnesota 5’11 221
By: Robert Davis

In 2001 as a freshman, Barber burst onto the Big 10 scene earning Freshman All American honors after rushing for 742 yards and 7 touchdowns. Early on the next season, Barber had a severe hamstring injury that cost him the rest of the season. He received a medical redshirt, than came back to the field as a redshirt sophomore in 2003. The past two years Barber has teamed with Laurence Maroney to form one of the most explosive backfields in the country. In 2003, Barber picked up 1,196 yards on the ground with 17 touchdowns, and also added 14.5 yard per punt return and 21.5 yards per kick return. This past year, Barber upped his yardage total even more, finishing with 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns, while returning kicks at 20.5 yards per return.

Barber brings a lot of versatility to the field. As a runner, he has great acceleration to the hole, and shows the ability to make defenders miss. He combines that quickness with very good power, and he will fight for extra yardage. He also has good enough speed to break off long runs. He also brings double value, as he can return kicks at the next level.

Durability has been an issue with Barber. He missed a whole year with a hamstring injury, then had some more hammy problems a year later. He also hasn’t had to carry the load as a back, because of Maroney’s presence on the team.

Barber could surprise in this draft. He brings a lot of talent and ability to the RB position. For the teams that decide to not take a back in the first round, Barber should be near the top of everyone’s list in the second round. He will not get out of day one, but should hear his name called in the second frame.

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