July 23, 2013

Coach: Hard work elevates Barron

When Kirk Barron was a freshman, his dad bought him a blocking sled for their home.

Over the years, it's gotten a lot of use, helping to turn the Mishawaka, Ind., native into a Big Ten offensive lineman.

"The kid is a tremendously hard worker," Marian High School coach Reggie Glon said of Barron, a 2014 Purdue commitment. "… He's one of those kids who has just worked his tail off and dedicated himself to our football program and I'm sure he's going to do the same for the Boilermakers."

Barron, a 6-foot-2, 294-pounder, is one of two offensive line commitments for Darrell Hazell and Co., in 2014, joining tackle Denzel Ward. Barron chose the Boilermakers following a camp visit in June, when he received an offer, and after breaking a commitment to Ohio; he had offers from Ball State and UMass.

Barron projects as a center prospect for the Boilermakers, and will get a chance to play there as a senior at Marian.

"He played guard the last two years and we're moving him to center this year," Glon said. "We graduated a three-year starter there. As a sophomore, we needed a guard, not a center, and we played (Kirk) there and he made all our line calls on the strong-side and he's going to continue to do that at the center position.

"I think for him, he is built to be a center. I don't know if he's a guard. I think he's a little short to be a guard in the Big Ten, so we'll work with him there (at center) and see what he does."

Barron might have the personality to play center, a position that naturally requires leadership qualities. He's shown a willingness to lead since committing to Purdue, building an online community - with Ward - among Purdue's 2014 commitments, while trying to get others on board.

"You could see that (leadership) at a young age with him," Glon said. "If guys were lazy, he was not going to let that happen. He's going to work hard and said 'We're going to make ourselves a better team.'

"(That's) contagious to other guys. He drags other guys with him. He gets other guys to work out with him and sometimes you have to throw him out of here on the weekends 'Hey Kirk, you're not supposed to be here on Sunday. Get out of here and go do something else. Go hit your sled in the back yard or something like that.' But you want those type of kids, and he's one of the big reasons we were able to win a regional championship last year, and I know where he goes, he's going to be successful because he has a good work ethic."

Glon says Barron couldn't be happier with landing at Purdue, because it's a Big Ten program and close to home.

"His goal was to play in the Big Ten, and when they came and saw him and offered him, he was ecstatic," Glon said. "He appreciates all the other schools that recruited him, but his goal was to play in the Big Ten and he wanted to play in Indiana, so his grandparents and everybody else would be able to come and see him."

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