It seems like it was just yesterday when Kaleb Barker was slinging the football all over the field for the Priceville Bulldogs.
Now, his college career at Troy has come and gone. The Trojans (5-7) closed out the season Saturday with a 48-13 loss to No. 20 Appalachian State. Barker threw for 281 yards.
So what’s next for the 2015 Decatur Daily Class 1A-4A Player of the Year?
According to his father, Todd Barker, teams in the Canadian Football League and the new XFL have contacted him. Pro football in Europe is also an option.
Surely the National Football League will also be an option. Yes, not many quarterbacks from Troy get an opportunity in the NFL, but, if the right team with the right opportunity comes along, anything can happen.
A good example is Devlin Hodges, the starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. A year ago he was ending his senior season at Samford. Last spring after the NFL draft, he signed a free agent contract with the New York Giants. He later hooked up with the Steelers after the Giants cut him. Thanks to some injuries, he’s now trying to lead the Steelers to the playoffs. After Sunday’s 20-13 win over Cleveland, he’s 2-0 as a starter.
The numbers for Hodges and Barker in their senior seasons in college are pretty close. The 6-foot-1, 210 pounds Hodges completed 338 of 550 passes for 4,265 yards and 32 touchdowns with 16 interceptions. The 6-1, 206 Barker completed 299 of 460 passes for 3,628 yards and 30 touchdowns with 10 interceptions.
Super 7 action
The Alabama High School Athletic Association starts crowning state champions in football tonight in Auburn. Hopefully, the crowd that stormed the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium last Saturday has found its way out by now.
The Class 7A championship game between Thompson and Central-Phenix City kicks off at 7 p.m. All the Super 7 games are being broadcast by Charter cable. In Decatur, Hartselle and Moulton, it’s on either channel 80 or 190.
Here’s the rest of the Super 7 schedule:
Thursday: Class 3A, Mobile Christian (9-4) vs. Piedmont (13-1), 11 a.m.; Class 1A, Mars Hill Bible (14-0) vs. Lanett (13-0), 3 p.m.; Class 5A, Central Clay County (12-2) vs. Pleasant Grove (13-1), 7 p.m.
Friday: Class 4A, Jacksonville (12-2) vs. UMS-Wright (13-0), 11 a.m.; Class 2A, Fyffe (14-0) vs. Reeltown (13-1), 3 p.m.; Class 6A, Oxford (13-1) vs. Spanish Fort (9-4), 7 p.m.
While 14 high school football teams are closing out the season this week, there are a bunch of seniors on other teams hoping to have the opportunity to play in college. The early national signing day for DI and DII schools is Dec. 18.
For players thinking about DIII or the NAIA level, what happens at Decatur High today could be key. The Alabama Football Coaches Association is hosting college coaches and high school coaches to talk recruiting.
Coaches from 40 to 50 high schools will bring resumes on seniors looking for college opportunities. Coaches from small colleges from as far away as Kentucky will be searching for players to fill needs on their rosters for next season and beyond.
“There are a lot of DIII schools in Tennessee and Kentucky and they like recruiting players from Alabama,” Decatur head coach Jere Adcock said. “They know players from Alabama are well coached and the caliber of the game here is at a high level.”
Because of the closeness to I-65, Decatur High is a perfect location for the event.
“DIII and NAIA schools have limited recruiting budgets,” Adcock said. “An event like this is perfect for them. They can make a lot of contacts with one stop.”