Similar to Fred Hansard, Damion Barber enters 2018 with an opportunity to make a big impact along the defensive line. This summer and fall camp will go a long way into deciding exactly how big of a role the Harrisburg native will play.
Barber committed to Penn State during the 2016 Junior Day, giving Franklin one of his first major commitments out of the state's capital city. Recruited as a defensive end, Barber was a top ten player in the state in the 2016 Class
The Barber File
- Class: RS Freshman
- Size: 6'3/278
- Pos: DT
- School: Harrisburg High (Pa.)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: No. 13 SDE
Some academic complications kept Barber off campus until August, arriving just before camp started. Missing an entire summer of workouts pretty much guaranteed a redshirt for Barber, giving him a full season to bulk up to defensive tackle size and learn his new position.
Barber fits the mold of former Penn State defensive-end-turned-defensive-tackle Anthony Zettel and Curtis Cothran. He's a little on the skinny side but is a superior athlete to most interior linemen, which should allow him to use his speed and agility to get into the backfield. Standing at 6'3, Barber should bat a ton of balls down at the line of scrimmage much like Zettel and Cothran were able to.
It's tough to have a timetable for Barber since he's been a defensive tackle for just over 10 months. With just five other non-freshman defensive tackles, Barber will undoubtedly get playing time, but there will be plenty of competition for snaps. If he can show a good grasp of the position in just under a year, Barber could quickly take on a larger role in Sean Spencer's ever-changing defensive line rotation.