Hartman: Coach (and uncle) says Barr will excel with Vikings

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 1, 2014 - 12:30 AM
hide

Anthony Barr, right, won’t let what he learns in offseason workouts, such as this one in mid-May when he made Kendall James his target, go to waste. That’s the opinion of Greg Hudson, former Gophers defensive coordinator and Barr’s uncle.

Photo: Bruce Bisping • bbisping@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Greg Hudson, who worked as a defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Gophers under Glen Mason, acknowledges that he’s a little biased when it comes to evaluating the potential of Vikings first-round draft pick Anthony Barr. That’s because Barr is his nephew.

“I’ve known him since he was a baby, and watched him grow up,” Hudson said about the former UCLA running back turned defensive end. “But he’s a great kid, he really is. He’s grounded, very close to everybody in the family, in particular my in-laws John and Jean Barr. That’s special. They’re his grandparents, but with his parental situation, and just having Mom, they were the ramrods and have been a blessing.

“He has really grown up a good kid in that environment. On top of all that, as good as he is as a kid, he’s a better football player. I think his best football is ahead of him. He’s just scratching the surface on defense. Uncle Greg always thought he was a defensive player, but I can’t blame somebody when they’re good enough to run the football for as long as you can. I’d do it, too.”

Hudson, who is now the defensive coordinator at Purdue, said that while he knows it’s a little unusual to see a player go from an offensive skill position like running back to defensive end, there is a bit of history of it in the college ranks.

“You look at TCU down in Texas; they have made a living at their program of taking great running backs and receivers and making them defensive players,” he said. “There were some great guys back in the ’80s at Notre Dame that were offensive players that coach [Lou] Holtz flipped over. [Former All-America and NFL standout] Todd Lyght was an offensive player and turned out to be one of the best cornerbacks out there. But Anthony wanted to run the football. He had the talent and was good enough, but to be a first-round draft pick it was going to be on the defensive side of the ball, and that’s how it worked out.”

The stats seem to make Hudson’s point. Barr had six carries for 31 yards his freshman season and nine receptions for 66 yards. In his sophomore season he had nine carries for 25 yards and a touchdown and three receptions for 16 yards and a score. The next season he switched to linebacker and eventually became an All-America after recording 23½ sacks over two seasons.

Hudson was asked if he thinks Barr could play right away for the Vikings.

“It wouldn’t surprise me because of what he can do athletically,” said Hudson. “He’s a worker, and Anthony is a smart kid, now. Anthony will pick things up fast, he’ll ask good questions, pay attention. He’ll work hard, but Anthony is very bright. He’s going to do well in the classroom there with them, with all those football meetings that he’s about to endure. He’ll pick it up. Then he’s going to get even bigger and stronger than he is now.

“I think what you see on Day 1 with Anthony Barr is not what you’re going to see in August, and I certainly don’t think it’s what you’re going to see down the road.”

Hudson was with the Gophers from 2001 through 2004 and worked for East Carolina and Florida State before landing at Purdue in 2013. So did Hudson try to recruit his nephew out of high school?

“Oh yeah, I had just got to Florida State, had just gotten there, and that was going to bring him all the way across the country,” Hudson said. “It shows how close he is to the family out there in California [Barr attended Los Angeles Loyola High School] — with my wife, all of her sisters and brothers are out there in L.A., and he stayed home.”

Hudson had coached at Cincinnati before joining the Gophers, and he said that hire by Mason was one of the better things to ever happen to him. He also still knows a little bit about how the Gophers are doing these days, since he’s back in the Big Ten.

“They’re really doing a great job,” he said about coach Jerry Kill and his staff. “They have it coming back around, and they’re all excited about their defense. They’re almost as good as that ’03 and ’04 defense. They’re not there yet, but they’re getting there.”

Hudson also said that he considers himself somewhat lucky, since he’s been at only four different schools in the past 14 years.

“I’ve only moved about every four years,” he said. “It hasn’t been one year or two years, it has been a situation where one was even a five-year stint [at East Carolina]. I have been lucky that it hasn’t been tough at all. But I was excited and determined to get back to the Big Ten in some capacity.”

Sid's Jottings

Former Vikings defensive end Jared Allen talked this week about what he saw when he decided to sign with the Bears. “When I looked at the total equation, this was a place where I can be a part of something great,” he said. Allen participated in his first workout with his new team last week.

Forbes Magazine ranked the Twins 19th in its valuations of major league baseball teams coming into this season, with an estimated value of $605 million and a 2013 operating income of $30.2 million. The Twins’ attendance was down 23 percent in 2013 from their opening season in 2010, and attendance has continued to fall in 2014.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota 16 FINAL
Buffalo 17
Atlanta 7 FINAL
Baltimore 29
Tennessee 17 FINAL
Washington 19
Seattle 26 FINAL
St. Louis 28
Cleveland 6 FINAL
Jacksonville 24
Cincinnati 0 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Miami 27 FINAL
Chicago 14
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Detroit 24
Carolina 17 FINAL
Green Bay 38
Kansas City 23 FINAL
San Diego 20
Arizona 24 FINAL
Oakland 13
NY Giants 21 FINAL
Dallas 31
San Francisco 17 FINAL
Denver 42
Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Boston 95 FINAL
Brooklyn 90
Minnesota 112 FINAL
Oklahoma City 94
Golden State 83 FINAL
Houston 90
Charlotte 96 FINAL
Chicago 101
Utah 91 FINAL
LA Lakers 98
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
San Jose 0 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Calgary 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 1
St. Louis 0 FINAL
Anaheim 3
TX-San Antonio 20 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 27
Syracuse 30 FINAL
Wake Forest 7
Purdue 38 FINAL
Minnesota 39
Western Ky 38 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 45
(12) Baylor 27 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 41
(11) Kansas State 31 FINAL
(17) Oklahoma 30
Iowa 31 FINAL
Maryland 38
So Florida 38 FINAL
Tulsa 30
Tulane 13 FINAL
UCF 20
Virginia 13 FINAL
Duke 20
Akron 20 FINAL
Ohio U 23
Western Mich 26 FINAL
Bowling Green 14
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
Massachusetts 36
Appalachian St 53 FINAL
Troy 14
(25) UCLA 36 FINAL
California 34
Texas A&M 0 FINAL
(4) Alabama 59
Army 17 FINAL
Kent State 39
Kansas 21 FINAL
Texas Tech 34
UAB 22 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 34
Rutgers 17 FINAL
(13) Ohio State 56
(8) Michigan State 56 FINAL
Indiana 17
New Mexico 31 FINAL
Air Force 35
NC State 18 FINAL
Louisville 30
(21) Clemson 17 FINAL
Boston College 13
Ball State 32 FINAL
Central Mich 29
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
SMU 3
(9) Georgia 45 FINAL
Arkansas 32
Oklahoma State 9 FINAL
(10) TCU 42
San Jose St 27 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Miami-Ohio 41 FINAL
Northern Ill 51
New Mexico St 17 FINAL
Idaho 29
Colorado 28 FINAL
(20) USC 56
(23) Marshall 45 FINAL
FIU 13
Southern Miss 30 FINAL
North Texas 20
Georgia Tech 43 FINAL
North Carolina 48
Tennessee 3 FINAL
(3) Ole Miss 34
Utah State 13 FINAL
Colorado State 16
Missouri 42 FINAL
Florida 13
Kentucky 3 FINAL
(24) LSU 41
(16) Nebraska 38 FINAL
Northwestern 17
Georgia State 27 FINAL
South Alabama 30
Washington 20 FINAL
(6) Oregon 45
Iowa State 45 FINAL
Texas 48
(7) Notre Dame 27 FINAL
(2) Florida State 31
Nevada 42 FINAL
BYU 35
Stanford 10 FINAL
(14) Arizona State 26
Hawaii 10 FINAL
San Diego St 20
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Columbus 3 FINAL
Red Bull New York 1
Seattle 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close