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Sterling’s CJ Barrett Looks to Duplicate High School Success at Rowan

Sterling’s CJ Barrett Looks to Duplicate High School Success at Rowan
C.J. Barrett ended his high school football career where his college career will begin. And if his final game is any indication, his future team, Rowan University, should be extremely pleased.
A graduating senior quarterback from Sterling, Barrett guided the White to a 26-13 win over the Blue in the Adam Taliaferro Foundation/South Jersey Football Coaches Association All-Star Classic at Rowan.
The large crowd saw the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Barrett put on a show with his arm and his feet. He threw for 199 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 40 yards, consistently escaping the heat of the pass rush.
“It felt amazing,” Barrett said. “A lot of the coaches including coach Acorsi and I hoped I showed them something.”
“Make no mistake, he showed Rowan head coach Jay Acorsi and his staff plenty.
Barrett is strong enough to break tackles, quick enough to elude tacklers. And his passing has improved each season, just like his team.
In fact Barrett led one of the great turnarounds in recent South Jersey history this season at Sterling. As a junior Sterling went 1-9.
During his senior year the Silver Knights were 8-2, and earned a South Jersey Group 2 playoff berth before losing to eventual champion Haddonfield in the first round.
The other loss was a 34-33 defeat to West Deptford, which was beaten by Haddonfield in the sectional final. Also of note, Sterling scored a 37-19 regular season win over Haddonfield, the week before the Bulldogs defeated Sterling, 17-7 in the postseason.
“Our season was one of the best feelings in the world,” Barrett said. “I never knew what it was like to experience a winning football team in high school and when you have the team like we did, it is the best feeling in the world.”
Barrett was a first-team all-WJFL Colonial Division selection while quarterbacking Dan Harris’ Silver Knights.
“Having that turnaround, gave me a lot of confidence,” Barrett said.
He also enjoyed playing in a more pass-oriented offense in the all-star game. Barrett worked out of a wide-open spread offense in the all-star game.
“Sterling did a bit of spread and Wing-T but the coaches (at the all-star game) did a lot to teach me the spread offense and it was really cooking.”
And Barrett was the chef.
Getting to play at the next level won’t be easy, but Barrett is ready for the challenge. Rowan has five quarterbacks on its depth chart. Barrett will have to make an immediate impression in training camp, to put himself in contention. In reality, coming in as a freshman is difficult enough, but to challenge for snaps at quarterback is even tougher, but all Barrett can do is continue to improve.
At least he got a little head start at making an impression at the all-star game and Barrett, who says there are several things he must keep improving, including his arm strength, which looks like it is on the way.
“My arm strength is definitely growing and I have to keep working on it,” he said.
Putting in the work is no problem for Barrett, who also played basketball and baseball as a senior. He saw how much he improved in his senior season and even afterwards.
One gets the impression that his final high school game won’t be the last impact performance seen by Barrett at Rowan University.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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