Monday, February 9, 2015

Rising star watch: Eric Barriere

La Habra quarterback Eric Barriere (No. 3) has not only led the Highlanders to consecutive 5-0 seasons in the Freeway League, he's frustrated defenses with his arm and leg (photo contributed). 
In the Freeway League during the last two seasons, one undersized quarterback has shown that he's on the fast lane to stardom.

Eric Barriere of La Habra High School doesn't just escape the oncoming traffic of defenders who are trying to halt him. The 6-foot, 185-pound quarterback uses his speed and arm to swerve through defenses. He's led La Habra to back-to-back undefeated seasons in the Freeway League and is 10-0 against the league slate.

In the always talent-heavy Southern California region, how does Barriere stack up with some of the best Southern California quarterbacks in the Class of 2016? Time to weigh in:

WHAT TO LIKE: I love his ability to make plays when things break down. Either Barriere will tuck the ball and gain 20 yards, or he'll evade defenders during a heavy rush and find an open receiver deep down the field. He's a dual-threat who can run the pistol and read option schemes with precision because of his athleticism. I've been equally impressed with his composure. Even if five or seven defenders are chasing him, Barriere will run circles around the rush, stay behind the line of scrimmage, then rifle the ball to an open man for the long passing play. He shows solid vision while in the pocket.

WHAT TO BUILD ON: He'll need to polish his footwork when taking three to five step drops. Needs to establish consistency with staying in the pocket. I'll also need to see his ability to dart the football into tight windows regardless if he's facing single man or double coverage.

OVERALL: This quarterback class is heavy on talent, especially in So Cal with Santa Margarita Catholic's K.J. Costello (15 scholarship offers), Tesoro (Santa Margarita) High's Devin Modster (four offers including Arizona and Arizona State) and Camarillo's Jake Constantine (interest from Clemson, Fresno State and UCLA) in that region. Barriere, though, could emerge as the sleeper among the So Cal quarterbacks in the Class of 2016. He may be undersized, but teams could be passing on a potential Russell Wilson if they don't show interest in Barriere.

More on Barriere can be found here.

Stats from 2014: 3,021 total yards of offense (2,452 passing), 26 passing touchdowns, 8 rushing touchdowns, 5 interceptions.

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