Having a chance to see things from a different perspective is something that not everyone has the opportunity to do. In football, it can be an invaluable way to understand an opponent. In Minnetonka senior Ty Barron it has not only helped him become a more productive linebacker for the Skippers' defense – but it has also opened up more opportunities to continue his football career past high school.
The Skippers are off to an undefeated start.
“We have gained a lot of confidence since the beginning of the season,” Barron said. Guys are coming together.”
Barron feels experience has been essential in Minnetonka's fast start.
“Half of our defense is returning starters,” Barron explained. “Experience – especially on the defensive side helps. On the offensive side, we are younger, but they are coming together and coming into their own. With our returners, we are able to keep a level head and help the younger guys to focus on the next play and not to get too excited or too down.”
Barron plays weak-side inside linebacker in the Skippers' base 3-4 defense primarily.
“On the weak side I am on the backside of plays a lot, so I can see better instead of being at the point of attack so I can knife through stuff,” NFN's 21st ranked senior said. “I have been playing some outside linebacker in third down or pass rushing situations. I played outside linebacker last year. I am comfortable with that.”
As a sophomore, Barron started at running back before moving to outside linebacker as a junior before finally settling into his inside linebacker position as a senior.
“I used to play running back,” said the 6'0″ 225-pound senior. “I feel like I know where the holes are or what the offense is trying to do. My biggest strengths are in diagnosing plays quickly and my instincts. Obviously, that comes from film study also, but understanding the game and my natural instincts.”
During the offseason, Barron focused on improving his pass coverage. He blitzed a lot as a junior, so the first extended time he was able to work on his coverage skills was during visits to football camps last summer.
“I wouldn't say it is an area I need to improve right now,” Barron said, “but it was something I worked on in the offseason that has paid off. I worked on one on ones and zone coverage with my buddies.”
Much of Barron's summer was devoted to getting noticed and in turn improving his pass coverage at camps.
“I went to camp at Iowa, Minnesota – I also got a game day invite from them. I went to Coastal Carolina and went to the Northwestern Showcase,” Barron who enjoys modifying cars when he is not patrolling the Skippers' defense said. “Overall I think the camps went well. I came out of them saying I did everything in my power and have no regrets. It was a good experience.”
Outside of the camps his time working out with the team focused on explosive movements.
“We worked on things like our first three steps off the line of scrimmage,” Barron told northstarfootballnews.com. “We did a lot of ten-yard sprints – explosiveness off the line. We wouldn't do a heavy bench press but more of a fast, explosive bench press. Our strength coach used the mantra ‘burn the boats.' In a historical context, when the Vikings would come to take over an island they would burn the boats so there would be no other opportunity to return, so they had to be successful. So burn the boats to us meant to go all out. There is no return.”
It seems like there is no return for Barron when it comes to college football. He already has offers with plenty of interest from schools – on both sides of the ball. Schools like that he can play all the linebacker positions, fullback and special teams. The movie buff estimates he has equal interest from schools that see him as a linebacker and as a fullback or H-back.
“I have offers from Cornell and Augustana,” Barron said. “I have been talking to Dartmouth a lot. I met with Northern Iowa. North Dakota State and South Dakota State are looking at me also.”
They are looking at him for many reasons – not least of which is because of his knowledge on both sides of the ball.