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Forreston 2018 TE/OLB Sam Barkalow is a big bodied athlete that picked up a few offers after an impressive summer camp season. We talked his most recent visits and what schools are showing the most interest in him. I also got Forreston head coach Dennis Diduch’s thoughts on Barkalow.
Commitment status: Undecided
Wt: 220 lbs
LPI: What are doing this offseason to get ready for the season and take your game to the next level? Did you play 7on7 this year or were you in any other sports?
SB: Between playing summer league basketball, working a part time job, participating in various camps and working hard in the weight room, my days have been very full. Being a 3-sport athlete during the school year helps prepare me for my hectic schedule. In July, we started participating in 7-on-7 games locally. Bringing my game to the next level, I feel, begins with competing. I follow the motto of “Iron sharpens iron”, so competing at the highest level possible only helps. I have gone to some really great football camps this summer and have been able to take away at least on technique from each coach and try to perfect it.
LPI: You currently have offers from Indiana State, Western Illinois, St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth to name a few. What skill set can you bring to the table for a college football program?
SB: I think my physical versatility is key. At least two programs in which I have received offers are interested in me playing a hybrid DE as an edge rusher. The other schools are recruiting me as a TE. I think that once I can concentrate on one sport and participate in an intensive weight training program, then wait and see how my body reacts. That might dictate what side of the ball I play on. I bring other intangibles to the table as well; character, leadership, and work ethic.
LPI: Besides the schools that have offered, which schools have shown serious interest in you?
SB: Besides the schools that have made offers, the following schools have shown serious interest in me; University of Northern Iowa, University of North Dakota, Illinois State University, and a few Ivy League. I feel so fortunate that all the schools in which I have offers are great schools and have winning programs. This whole recruiting process has been an awesome experience and I’ve developed some great relationships.
LPI: Where have you visited most recently and do you have any planned visits set?
SB: Most recently I have traveled to the UNI Dome at the University of Northern Iowa. I was very impressed with Coach Farley and his staff. I have visits planned for Indiana State and Northern Michigan.
LPI: Who are some of your teammates or training partners that you believe can play at the next level, but have gone overlooked by college coaches?
Brayden Walton – Brayden is an overall great lineman. He has all the good features of a lineman but also has outstanding football knowledge. If anyone on the line has any questions about what to do, Brayden is your man. When things get shaky in the game he is the one to come into the huddle and give a good pep talk, then turn around and make a great block.
Anthony “AJ” Christensen – AJ is an amazing guy and equally an amazing athlete. He has the incredible ability to “flip the switch” very easily. What he lacks in stature he makes up for in explosiveness. He can be joking off the field one minute and then the next he is laying a great hit or breaking someone’s ankles. He is always smiling behind his face mask and it can really help the team when they need it.
Gavin Fuchs – Gavin is an excellent leader and athlete. He is always having fun on the field but always gets down to business. With a great combo of speed and strength, he is a play maker on offense and defense. He is a role model not just for underclassmen, but his classmates. Cool under pressure, you can count on Gavin.
Forreston Head Coach Dennis Diduch on Barkalow on and off the field
“Sam has great size and speed, and has shown improvement each year, especially last year during our state title run. We are looking forward to him having an excellent senior season.”