Faith Engle, Student Intern
JOLIET – No matter where an aspiring student-athlete comes from, the University of St. Francis can provide them with many opportunities to further their athletic and academic career. No one knows this better than USF football student-athlete Perre’ Barbarin (SR/New Orleans, La.).
Barbarin grew up in New Orleans, La., with his family and was traveled to the Midwest as a result of being given the opportunity to play running back at USF by head coach Joe Curry.
Growing up in New Orleans, Barbarin had a memorable fun childhood participating in as many sports as he could and trying to excel in each of them. This was exactly what got him into football and his other favorite sport, baseball. At age three, Barbarin displayed his enthusiasm and talent on the field playing on the older 5-to-6-year old youth football team. As time would go on, Barbarin would develop a passion for playing baseball and due to his success on the diamond received an opportunity to play for many travel teams such as the Crescent City A’s (competed in the semifinals for the National World Series in Disney World), New Orleans Monarchs (competed in the semifinals for the National World Series at Disney World), and the All Black World Series (World Series where only African Americans are allowed to compete and represent their state (also held at Disney World).
Barbarin wouldn’t play football again until age 14 when he competed for the travel team New Orleans Saints as their starting quarterback. When reflecting about his travel football memories, Barbarin said “Me playing for these teams on different levels helped my childhood to be so memorable and different from others. If I could, I would love to go back and relive a few of my childhood moments because they will forever last a lifetime for me.”
After childhood, Barbarin would play for Saint Augustine High School where he would earned Division 1 Class 5A Catholic League All-District honors as a senior along with being a three-time league player of the week in the 2016 season. As Barbarin’s high school career was coming to a close, the opportunity to play football collegiately was forged by one of Barbarin’s former high school coaches, who got him into contact with USF’s head coach Joe Curry.
During his USF career, Barbarin has made many memories, including his favorite one from his freshmen year where he was rushed for almost 100 yards and scored his first collegiate touchdown. The 5-7, 195-pound backfield athlete would lead the Saints with 103 rushing attempts while ranking second on the squad in rushing yards (334) and touchdown runs (three) in eight games.
Barbarin’s sophomore year in 2018 was rather uneventful, but the biology major bounced back for a productive season in his 2019 junior campaign. A season ago, Barbarin raushed for a team fourth-most 203 yards on 52 carries to go one touchdown in 10 contests. He concluded the 2019 season ranking 18th among the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League rushing leaders with 150 yards in league matchups only along with placing 19th in rushing yards a game (25.0 ypg.) and 31st in all-purpose yardage (234 yds.).
When Barbarin isn’t involved with football, he enjoys spending his time hanging out with friends or family, listening to music, and making music. He also likes singing but stated only a few of his friends and family have heard him sing before. Outside of singing, Barbarin plays baseball and even to the point where he considered playing the sport in college before deciding his love for football was greater.
Barbarin also talked about the USF campus as a whole and how it is fundamentally a great place to be.
My favorite thing about USF is that everyone is nice and wants to help you.” Barbarin said. “Everyone here treats you like family and treats you with respect. For me, being so far away from home, it makes me feel comfortable and at home.”
Being in a comforting environment is what Barbarin emphasized about what prospecting college students should do when thinking about a place to spend their college years. For Barbarin, USF was the perfect fit and provided the opportunity for him to achieve his current goals.
Barbarin discussed what he hopes his future will look like after graduating from USF.
“When I graduate, I would love to play in the National Football League (NFL) of course especially since I recently had an interview with a representative from a company named Diamond Drafts which is for college players who play at small or non NCAA Division I schools. But, if I don’t get the opportunity to make it (to the NFL), I plan to go into the marketing field doing television commericals, radio, television and social media advertising or becoming a dealership manager.”
Barbarin was afforded an opportunity by USF to grow and is doing so in a commendable way.