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2015 NFL DRAFT
player photo

Connor Barwin

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 256 | College: Cincinnati
 
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Overview

When someone came up with that phrase, "consummate team player," Barwin was the type of athlete they had in mind. He has done everything he could to stay on the field, excelling as a pass rusher, pass catcher and kick blocker for the defense, offense and special team units. Barwin has also played for the Bearcats' basketball team at the conclusion of the football season the last two seasons.

On the football season, he has excelled as a wedge buster on the kickoff return unit, as a gunner on the punt coverage squad, as a kick blocker and a terrific hitter who has delivered bone-jarring tackles on opposing returners. In addition, Barwin proved to be a clutch receiver at the tight end and H-back positions.

Barwin has amassed 40 first downs among his 53 receptions, converting eight third-down snaps and three more on fourth-down throws. Twenty-six of his receptions gained at least 10 yards, with 13 of those grabs for 20 yards or longer. His clutch receptions produced 20 touchdown drives and three other series that ended with Cincinnati field goals.

At the University of Detroit Jesuit High School, Barwin was named the team's Offensive and Defensive Most Valuable Player as a senior. He added All-District, All-League and All-Catholic honors and was rated the state's 17th-best prospect by the Detroit Free Press. He was also selected to play in the East-West All-Star Game.

Barwin added a pair of letters in basketball during his prep days. He garnered second-team All-League honors as a junior, leading the squad to the district title. As a senior, he picked up All-Catholic recognition.

Barwin was one of two true freshmen to letter at Cincinnati in 2005, wearing jersey No 89 and appearing in all 11 games as a reserve tight end. He caught 8 of 14 passes targeted to him, good for 144 yards (18.0 avg), one touchdown and eight first downs. He also posted two solo tackles and recovered one fumble.

After the 2005 football season, Barwin joined the Cincinnati 2005-06 basketball team as a walk-on. He appeared in 18 contests as a reserve, averaging 9.9 minutes per game. He shot 38.9 percent from the field (7 of 18 field goals) and 80 percent from the foul line (4 of 5 free throws). He also pulled down 40 rebounds (2.2 rpg), handed out four assists and blocked three shots.

As a sophomore, the Bearcat Academic Honor Roll selection shared tight end chores with Brent Celek, starting two of the 13 games he appeared in. He ranked sixth on the team, catching 13 of 18 passes targeted to him (opposition deflected three of those attempts) for 148 yards (11.4 avg) and two touchdowns. Nine of his receptions were good for first downs, as he also led the special teams unit with eight solo tackles.

Like he did after his freshman football season, Barwin joined the Bearcats' 2006-07 basketball team. He appeared in 23 games as a swingman, hitting 10 of 23 field goals (43.5 percent) and 7 of 13 free throws (53.8 percent) for 27 points (1.2 ppg). He totaled 31 rebounds (1.4 rpg), had nine blocks and doled out five assists.

In 2007, Barwin played most of the snaps at tight end, even though he did not start any of the 13 games he appeared in. He finished fourth on the team, catching 31 of 41 passes targeted to him for 399 yards (12.9 avg) and two touchdowns. Twenty-two of his receptions were good for first downs. He also delivered three solo tackles, recovered two fumbles, recovered a blocked field goal and gained 18 yards on a blocked punt return.

Changes came on several fronts for the former tight end in 2008. Barwin switched to jersey No. 5 from No. 89, also moving to the other side of the ball as the team's starting right defensive end. The defensive end registered 53 tackles (27 solos) as he led the Big East Conference and ranked seventh in the nation with 12.0 sacks, breaking the NCAA major college single-season record for most sacks by a player in his first season on defense. He paced the team and ranked second in the league with 17.0 stops for losses, led the Bearcats and Big East with 20 quarterback pressures and blocked three kicks while also catching one pass for a 1-yard score.

Analysis

Positives: Tall with a well-developed upper body. Physical at the point of attack. Can get under the offensive tackle's pads and push him into the quarterback. Has effective stutter and spin moves. Relentless as a pass rusher, he also hustles down the line and chases ballcarriers downfield. Good backfield awareness to knock down passes and keep contain on reverses, run plays and bootlegs. Uses his hands well to keep blockers away and shed to make tackles. Stands up on some plays -- may fit as a 3-4 rush linebacker. Very coachable because of his intelligence, work ethic and motor. A special teams ace since his freshman year; he blocked three punts in 2008. Played power forward for the Bearcats' basketball team for two seasons as a walk-on.

Negatives: A bit tight in the hips, is not smooth changing direction or handling coverage in the flat. Is not a quick-twitch athlete. Although he showed some explosiveness and suddenness off the edge, NFL tackles will be more difficult to beat. Inexperienced on defense, played only one season; must continue working on his pass-rushing techniques.

Compares To (Defense): MATT ROTH, Miami -- Like Roth, Barwin plays with a nonstop motor. Right now, he makes plays on instincts alone, but you can see with each passing week that he is developing a good feel for the game. Still, with his speed and edge rushing skills, he could be a nice fit in a 3-4 alignment as a strong-side linebacker.

Compares To (Offense): MATT SCHOBEL, Philadelphia -- If Barwin is utilized in a short-area passing attack, he has shown the ability to move the chains. His speed is his best asset, but he has shown good lower body strength to break tackles and pick up yardage after the catch.

Scouting Report

GENERAL REPORT: GRADE: 7.50

Body Structure: Barwin has good upper body muscle development and room on his frame to carry more bulk, if a team decides to keep him on the defensive line. With his quickness, range and change of direction agility, he is more than capable of playing as a strong-side linebacker. He has good arm and chest muscle thickness, soft hands for the reception (as a tight end) and adequate thigh and calf thickness. As his frame continues to develop, he knows how to use his strength efficiently to compensate playing against the larger blockers.

Athletic Ability: Barwin has a solid frame, playing at a good pad level and displays excellent quickness coming out of his stance for a rush end or tight end. He plays with good suddenness and leverage, showing no issues when having to change direction, which are ideal traits to have if he possibly moves to linebacker. He has that sudden burst to consistently give backside chase coming off the edge, as his above average balance will usually see him sift through trash. He generates a very good initial burst off the snap and is quick to build acceleration on the move. He has outstanding lateral pursuit ability and does a very good job closing down the line. He is a strong wrap-up tackler with good hand usage and uses those hands effectively to keep blockers off his body. As a tight end, he displays excellent foot speed. He has above average agility, flexibility and burst getting into his patterns and excels at adjusting to the ball in flight. His ability to stay on his feet is the result of his above average balance. GRADE: 8.0

Football Sense: Barwin has no problems taking plays from the chalkboard to the playing field. He is still a work in progress as a defensive player, but while he does play on instincts alone at this stage of his career, he has no problems grasping the mental aspect of the game. He is a low rep type that shows above average alertness to his surroundings. You can see on film his good ball location ability. Despite just a short time on defense, he understands his role and will not hesitate to ask good questions from the coaches, knowing their input can only help him more. On defense, you can see that he picks up traps and pulls quickly and is very capable of handling the mental aspect of the game. As a tight end, he makes good adjustments on the run, doing a nice job of spotting coverage while running routes. He also knows that he has the speed to get open after the catch. GRADE: 7.0

Character: Barwin is the consummate team player and volunteers for any task the coaches need done. He is well-liked by teammates and staff, whether in football or basketball, and is the type the coaches hope other player emulate. He is a personable type who might be quiet when you first meet him, but shows good character and the ability to handle hard coaching. He is responsible and shows a strong work ethic. GRADE: 7.0

Competitiveness: No task is too much for Barwin to handle, evident by his accepting his role as the team's jack-of-all-trades. He uses his athletic ability well, knowing when to avoid the pile or simply explode into a blocker in attempts to overpower. It is rare to see him get reckless in his play. He plays with good fire in his belly and will do anything possible to get to the quarterback and disrupt the play-action. He shows good urgency running down the ball from the backside and has good intensity in his play. He hustles in pursuit and takes well to hard coaching. The game is important to him and he has demonstrated very good aggressiveness battling combo blocks. He is the type that will always give good effort and likes to hit and punish ball carriers. Still, this is a player who has yet to realize his full potential and ability. As a tight end, he shows good aggression for the position. Barwin does not step away from blocking assignments, showing a fighting nature and the ability to come through in the clutch. GRADE: 7.5

Work Habits: Barwin has great "sports" character, giving full effort on the football field and the basketball court. He is a good leader by example type, as he has never complained about his use as a role player, despite having better athletic pedigree than any other player in the Cincinnati program. He will not hesitate to be a vocal leader, if needed. On the field, he is a high strung type that has a good search and destroy work ethic. He plays and practices the same way - hard. There is still that unknown about him, as many wonder what makes him tick, as he seems to not relish being in the limelight and would rather just go about his task, but it is obvious that his athletic ability makes him stand out in the crowd. He easily has that strong work ethic teams look for, evident by the extra hours he put in the training room in the offseason to redesign his body to play defense. He is very coachable and stays in very good shape. He is looked up to by the younger players and has taken on more of a leadership role in 2008 than in the past. He listens well and is a goal-oriented type that will do whatever the coaches ask. As a tight end, he is a hard worker on the field, doing a very good job of finishing his assignment on the playing field. He is not a complainer or front runner, showing the solid football character. GRADE: 7.5

ATHLETIC REPORT (DEFENSE): GRADE: 7.18

Explosion/Pursuit: Barwin shows good explosion in his first step, with a proper rise in his pad level off the ground. He does a good job of reaching and sticking his hands into the fray in order to gauge the offensive lineman's attack. He flashes that burst to surprise a lethargic blocker, which allows him to get instant penetration. He is a quick-twitch type in his play, but must be conscious of keeping his arms inside the frame, as when he fires them too wildly he leaves his body exposed for bigger blockers to lock on and control him. Still, Barwin shows consistent explosion coming off the snap. He has very good initial quickness and can change direction effortlessly. He is especially effective generating that burst coming around the corner on the pass rush. If one needs to appreciate Barwin's explosion off the snap, they only need to view his late fourth-quarter sack of Pitt QB Bill Stull, as he went 360-degrees in the backfield, fending off five blockers to sack the passer. As the 2008 season progressed, Barwin showed that he actually was getting stronger and quicker deeper into the games, thanks to his excellent athletic ability. He has more than proven that he is a quick-twitch player who can easily burst upfield and has made strides in generating the same quickness with his hands to disengage and it was very rare to see him be late coming off the line of scrimmage. GRADE: 7.8

Strength at Point: Because of his good pad level, Barwin is capable of slipping under slow blockers. He has the strength to shed and go vs. tight ends and fullbacks, but must continue to improve his hand usage in order to do a better job of combating double teams. He has that natural strength to impact an opponent, but is still learning the proper way to execute counter moves and generate good body lean. He just lacks the size and bulk you want in attempts to split or play the double team (when he drops his hands, he can be walked off before he can reload and hold ground at the point of attack). Each game, you can see the conscious effort he is making to use his hands to get inside control and leverage, but it is still a work in progress. He has the strong hand jolt to push blockers back on their heels and also has the speed to separate and then chase down the ball, just lacking experience of knowing when to back off rather than out-battle. The thing you notice on film is that when he gets his hands on an opponent, he can tie up the blocker, standing them up and shed. His lower leg strength prevents lead blockers from being successful in attempts to reroute him (works better on the move than when stationary). He recovers off blocks quickly and is generally a disruptive force working down the line. As he continued to gain reps in 2008, you could see that Barwin was using his hands much better to control the blocker, allowing him to play with good leverage. With his low pad level and sudden surge off the line, the offensive tackles assigned to block him did not register any knockdowns vs. Barwin in his last seven games. GRADE: 6.4

Use of Hands: Barwin has good strength to control tight ends and lead blockers, but needs to be more effective with his counter moves and keeping his hands inside the frame to prevent blockers from attacking his body. When he gets good hand position, he has the quick moves to fight off the edge and defeat the pass block. He is showing steady improvement in using his hands to fend off chop blocks in order to continue his flow to the ball when on the move. He needs to continue to work on his technique, but you can see that when he keeps his hands active, he is effective at creating separation. From his time on offense and playing basketball, it is evident that he has very fast hands on the pass rush, especially when disengaging. When he uses his hands to get inside control and plays with good technique, he will rarely give up any body surface (except when he gets a little too high in his stance). He also shows enough strength and pop to get off blocks, separate and jolt the blocker … Repetitions and time on the field saw Barwin greatly improve his hand usage throughout 2008. He now has the knowledge how to use his hands to control and get rid of blockers, despite giving up bulk. At his size, if he did not generate the hand punch he has he would have had trouble getting off the bigger blockers. GRADE: 6.7

Lateral Pursuit/Effort: Thanks to his exceptional balance and good change of direction agility, Barwin could also become a candidate to play strong-side linebacker in a 3-4 alignment. He plays with good knee bend working through trash, especially when needed to chase off the edge. He gives 100 percent effort in pursuit, as he is relentless trying to get to the ball. He moves well in the open field, thanks to his lateral range and his high motor lets him make big plays chasing across the field. He can close down the line of scrimmage quickly and shows the sudden burst needed to chase down plays from the backside. He is a good hustler who will run the long distance needed to make the plays at the opposite end of the field. Just look at the 2008 Pittsburgh game. You will see on all four of his involved sacks that Barwin will run a long way to deliver a hit. He simply refuses to give up on the play and even though he was penalized for a horse-collar tackle vs. West Virginia, he has developed quite a good feel for the runner's path and how to angle to get to the ball. GRADE: 7.0

Tackling Ability: Barwin is still adjusting to playing defense and wrap-tackling, but he does collision with lead blockers and ball carriers with a strong thud. He has the power and good pad level to impede the runner's forward progress by attacking his opponent's outside leg. Early in the 2008 season, he would tend to lunge and reach, but in recent games (more so from reps and experience), he played with much better control and awareness. If he continues to flow to the ball and not try to overpower blockers, he will develop solid wrap technique. He shows good aggression in pursuit and explosiveness behind his hits. When locking up, his upper body strength allows him to drive through smaller blockers. In the open field, he willingly throws his body around. When he sets his sights on the quarterback, he will generally unload behind his hits. Later in 2008, Barwin showed that he has the quickness and strength to be an explosive tackler, but you would like to see him attack the ball more often than the man in order to jar the ball loose. GRADE: 6.2

Run Defense: He needs to continue working on his hand usage at the point of attack, but he does a nice job of locking on and shedding the lead blockers when playing the ball in his area. He has that above average balance needed to make plays in pursuit, showing good knee bend. He will get covered up and contained by the bigger blockers when he runs right into the pile, but while he is still a work in progress as a stack-&-shed type he doers a very good job of stringing out plays and playing off blocks on the move. He makes quite a few plays in pursuit and shows the hand strength to shed and make plays while defending the tight end's low blocks. He has very good balance, but must continue to be active with his hands in order to wear down the blockers during the game. For a player of his size, Barwin displayed very good strength taking on blockers in 2008. He might lack the sand in his pants that you look for in a defensive end, but coming off the edge he has shown steady strides in holding his ground at the point of attack. Still, he is best when making plays on the move rather than wait for the action to come to him. GRADE: 7.8

Pass Rush and Blitz: Barwin is very capable of becoming a quality pass rusher, thanks to his pad level, change of direction agility and quickness off the snap. When he explodes off the ball and gathers in the middle of his pass rush, few bigger blockers have the quickness to mirror him. He is quickly learning how to dip for arm action pressure and has a nice reverse spin move to attack from the back door. Once he learns to use his hands, he will be much more effective using inside counter moves. He has the proper pad level needed to work on the offensive lineman's edge when working in-line. He is simply a quick-twitch type with an explosive upfield burst and smooth hips. He shows very good rip, swim, counter and bull rush moves. He will sometimes get a little too anxious in pursuit and overshoot the quarterback, but is quick to recover and get back into the action. His counter moves are becoming quite effective, especially when bending around the corner. With Barwin's upfield speed and knee bend, when he comes off the corner he can easily beat the offensive tackle or counter back inside if the blocker over-plays him on the outside. He has also started to develop a nice array of pass rush moves (spin move is the best of any defensive end in the 2009 draft). GRADE: 8.3

Closing on the QB: This is where Barwin's speed is most evident. He has shown much better spin action to play off blockers when engaging them upfield. His ability to escape with suddenness allows him to apply backside pressure. He has that burst that consistently surprises a lethargic blocker. When left out on an island, he is very capable of delivering the knockout blow to the quarterback. He does get out of control at times, but you would rather that he plays with a relentless motor than just pick his moments. When free coming off the edge, it is as if he takes dead aim for the quarterback. If he breaks free from his blockers, he can generate lots of heat in the backfield with his quick pursuit. He has the burst to close on the quarterback off twists and games. Even in long pursuit, his quickness is above average. He has that great burst to accelerate around the corner to close the deal fast on the pass rush. GRADE: 7.7

Instincts/Recognition: Right now, Barwin plays strictly on instincts, but he is a quick learner who rarely makes the same mistake twice. He is steadily building a good feel for block pressure, but there are times he just runs into the pile and gets absorbed. The quicker he adjusts to reading blocking schemes, the better he will get. He is good at sifting out the plays in the backfield, but because of his size he will sometimes have to work harder to find the running plays in a crowd. He shows good awareness to find the ball and reacts with quickness when on the move than when working in the trenches. He picks up the ball on the run very well in pursuit. While he is becoming effective reacting to block pressure, he can get rerouted by the offensive tackle when he gets too high in his stance. Still, he is a smart player with an instinctive feel for blocks and can generally find the ball in the open field. Barwin seemed to becoming very comfortable in his role coming off the edge in 2008. He is developing a good feel for the game and has done a very good job of locating the ball on the move. He makes good adjustments to slip through and avoid blocks and has become much more alert to blocking schemes. Earlier in the season, he would just run into spots and try to overpower the blocker. Now, he is showing good savvy in his play, as he has developed the hand placement and technique to beat blockers off the edge and has a good feel for angling in attempts to shorten the field in his quest to get to the ball carrier … GRADE-6.7

ATHLETIC REPORT (OFFENSE): 6.38

Release: Barwin flashes good strength and quickness to power through the jam and get back into his routes. He has that quick initial move, head fake and hip snap to rock the safeties back on their heels. With his change of direction agility, he is seldom held up and often runs free from the slower second-level defenders. He is very fluid and appears to be balanced, as he can get skinny to get his best release. He has above average foot speed to elude and developing strength to fight through the hold-up at the line of scrimmage. His ability to get into his routes, along with his size and natural hands, makes him an inviting target working back to the quarterback. GRADE: 6.3

Acceleration: Barwin shows good ability to get open in the short area, demonstrating good awareness skills to uncover. He has the quick reactionary ability to adjust and separate to get under the ball in flight. He does a nice job when posting up and using his body to shield defenders from the ball (three fumbles in 37 games on offense). While he was used mostly on controlled routes, he does have the quickness to execute deep patterns, as he can get downfield and stretch the secondary, showing good skills to track the long throw and accelerate in the seam. He has the ability to stretch the coverage and his speed will expose defenders. He knows how to uncover and use his hands to push off the linebackers to stay open on short routes. GRADE: 6.7

Quickness: This is one of his better assets, especially when he has to reach a 7-tech, as he has a knack for hooking them. He shows good intelligence getting into his patterns, playing with good suddenness to gain advantage on the defender. Even when he is occasionally late off the snap, he has the second gear to get to top speed in a hurry. GRADE: 7.0

Route Running: Barwin is a decent route-runner, but was used mostly on digs, drags and option routes. With his speed, you would have hoped that the coaches would have let him line wide more often. He will drift and round his cuts at times, but has the ability to break sharply without having to gather himself (corrected a minor hitch, a false step coming off the blocks). GRADE: 5.9

Separation Ability: Barwin flashes good suddenness to separate. He does gather at the top of his route and has the hand strength to get a good push off the defender working upfield. He can easily separate from linebackers and safeties in man coverage and knows how to use his body well to push off and create separation. GRADE: 6.3

Ball Concentration: Barwin has good overall body flexibility to adjust to off-target throws, whether they are high, low or behind him. His flexibility lets him catch outside his radius and he works hard to secure the contested ball. He does have a tendency to trap the ball, and at times will drop it, but when he extends for the ball away from his frame, he does a nice job of getting to it at its high point. He also shows urgency securing the ball before he runs. He maintains balance and awareness through his routes, keeping an eye on the defender's positioning. GRADE: 6.6

Ball Adjustment: Barwin seems natural making body adjustments, as he can track the ball in tight quarters or make the over-the-shoulder grabs. His hands are natural, but he will drop a few when he tries to basket catch. Still, he is a naturally fluid and smooth runner who shows above average flexibility and body adjustment skills on the run. GRADE: 6.2

Leaping Ability: Thanks to his time as a basketball player, Barwin has that ability to get up and attack the ball in flight. He does a good job of extending for the ball at its high point and shows good power when shielding defenders from the ball. GRADE: 7.3

Hands: Barwin has natural hands and good extension to catch outside his frame. He caught 31 of 41 passes targeted to him in 2007, doing a nice job of protecting the ball on contact. He catches smoothly and demonstrates solid hand/eye coordination. Even though he might drop an easy toss on occasion, his hands are generally reliable. He will short arm a bit when working in tight quarters, but when lined wide or in deep routes, he will extend and pluck with a fluid motion.

Run After the Catch: Barwin has adequate run vision and decent elusiveness. He runs tough to get the first downs (converted 5 of 8 third down throws in 2007), and has the speed to challenge the defender, using his change of direction skills to make the opponent miss. He also has the power to run through and break tackles. He runs at a low pad level and has the strength to break tackles in the open. GRADE: 6.0

Blocking Ability: Barwin was inconsistent as an in-line blocker, as he did not have the bulk you look for from someone taking on down linemen. He is more of a position/shield type than a driver, as he struggled some to maintain contact at the line of scrimmage. He is much better cut blocking and angling into the second level, doing a nice job of adjusting on the move. He flashes the feet, knee bend and awareness, along with good effort, blocking for the ball carriers. He is just better blocking linebackers than in-line, as he is quick to seal off and make contact in the open field. He has adequate strength to uproot and get downfield movement when blocking in-line, but shows much better ability to reach and shield at the second level vs. the linebackers, displaying outstanding balance to sustain. GRADE: 5.7

Special Teams: Whether blocking kicks or getting downfield in a hurry to prevent the big run back, Barwin's athletic ability, especially his leaping skills, shine through as a kick blocker. He shows good urgency and vision getting downfield to make the play and is definitely going to be an asset on special teams in the NFL. GRADE: 8.5

Compares To (Defense): MATT ROTH, Miami -- Like Roth, Barwin plays with a nonstop motor. Right now, he makes plays on instincts alone, but you can see with each passing week that he is developing a good feel for the game. Still, with his speed and edge rushing skills, he could be a nice fit in a 3-4 alignment as a strong-side linebacker.

Compares To (Offense): MATT SCHOBEL, Philadelphia -- If Barwin is utilized in a short-area passing attack, he has shown the ability to move the chains. His speed is his best asset, but he has shown good lower body strength to break tackles and pick up yardage after the catch.

OVERALL GRADE: 7.23 (defense) … 6.56 (offense) … 8.33 (special teams) … 7.56 (cumulative)

--Report by Dave-Te' Thomas

Career Notes

In 51 games at Cincinnati, Barwin started 16 contests (14 at defensive end, one at tight end, one at H-Back) … Produced 66 tackles (40 solos) with 16 solo tackles on special teams … Registered 12.0 sacks for minus 74 yards, 18.0 stops for losses of 94 yards and 20 quarterback pressures … Blocked five kicks, recovered three fumbles, deflected eight passes, had seven knockdowns on the kickoff coverage team, chased down the quarterback 17 times, downed seven punts inside the 20-yard line and recorded 138 special teams points … The opposition averaged minus 0.30 yards on 50 rushing attempts and completed only 2 of 33 passes (6.06 percent) into Barwin's area during the 2008 season … In 38 games on offense, Barwin caught 53 of 74 passes (71.62 percent) targeted to him, gaining 692 yards (13.06 avg) with six touchdowns … Added 37 yards on a pair of blocked punt returns, including one that resulted in a safety … Barwin was the only player in college football to register a sack, block a kick and catch a pass for a touchdown during the 2008 season … His 12.0 sacks in 2008 rank third on the school single-season record list, topped only by Anthony Hoke (13.0 in 2007) and Antwan Peek (12.5 in 2001) … Connor's 12.0 sacks in 2008 broke the NCAA single-season record for most sacks in an athlete's first season on defense, topping the mark of 11.0 that was set by Demorrio Williams of Nebraska in 2003.

2008 Season

All-American and All-Big East Conference first-team selection, adding Super Sleeper Team honors from The NFL Draft Report … Regarded as the most underrated defensive end in college and the best athlete in the major college ranks by that scouting information service … Recipient of the Claude Rost Award, given to the team's Most Valuable Player … Earned Big East Conference Special Teams Player of the Week accolades vs. Marshal and was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll after the Eastern Kentucky, Rutgers and Pittsburgh clashes … Moved to the defensive line for his final season and was named one of the team's captains prior to the Oklahoma contest … Switched from jersey #89 to number 5, starting the first nine games at strong-side defensive end … Recorded 53 tackles (27 solos), as he led the team and Big East while ranking tied for seventh in the nation with 12.0 sacks for minus 74 yards … His 12.0 sacks rank third on the school single-season record list … Part of a defensive unit that ranked ninth nationally, as the Bearcats averaged 0.85 sacks per game through their first thirteen contests … Led the team, ranked second in the conference and tied for 28th nationally with 16.0 stops for losses totaling 92 yards … Registered a league-high 20 quarterback pressures and was third on the squad with eight pass deflections, the most of any Big East defensive lineman in 2008 … Recovered three fumbles and leads the league with three blocked kicks … Helped the Wildcats rank 17th in the nation and second in the Big East, allowing only 104.00 yards per game rushing … The defense also ranked third in the league and 26th in the major college ranks, allowing 316.05 yards in total offense per game … Barwin made 50 of his plays vs. the run, holding the opposition to minus 15 yards (-0.30 ypc), the lowest rushing yardage total allowed by a Bowl Division defensive lineman in 2008 … Also stopped ball carriers at the line of scrimmage for no gain on seven of those carries … Thirteen of his hits came on third-down running plays, collecting six stops inside the red zone, including four on goal-line plays … The Bearcats ranked 28th in the country and third in the Big East with a 112.92 pass defense efficiency rating … That was thanks to Barwin, who allowed only 2-of-32 passes targeted into his area (6.06 percent) to be completed for minus 11 yards (only player in college football to hold an opponent to minus yardage during the 2008 season) … Made 21 of his pass play stops on third-down snaps and also delivered six fourth-down hits … On special teams, Barwin led the conference with 95 points, based on his five unassisted tackles, including three inside the 20-yard line, 34 total third-down hits, 17 quarterback chase-downs, 20 pressures, seven pass break-ups, two wedge break-ups, one downed punt inside the 20-yard line, three blocked kicks and being down field first on three other punts … In addition to his excellence on defense and special teams, Barwin returned to his "roots" briefly, catching a 1-yard touchdown pass vs. South Florida … Was the only player in college football to catch a touchdown pass, register a sack and block a kick during the 2008 campaign … One of his blocked kicks resulted in a safety and six of his QB pressures caused interceptions, with four leading to Bearcats touchdowns.

2008 Game Analysis

Eastern Kentucky … In Barwin's first career start as a defensive player, he earned Big East Weekly Honor Roll recognition, as he posted five tackles (4 solos) with a pair of sacks, three stops behind the line of scrimmage and a QB pressure, making two of his hits on third-down plays in a 40-7 triumph … On the game's first series, Barwin stopped tailback Aaron Bradley for no gain on a rushing attempt at the WKU 31 and then pressured QB Allan Holland on a third-&-5 pass to Bradley that resulted in a 4-yard loss, followed by a Colonels punt … Early in the second quarter, he raced past offensive tackle Derek Hardman for his first career sack, leveling Holland for an 11-yard loss at the EKU 8 … Talking about his first sack after the game, Barwin stated, "I had to do a big stick, which means you have to go all the way to the center. I did that, and I saw AD (Alex Daniels) flush the quarterback out so I was already in the middle of the field. I ran him (EKU quarterback Allan Holland) down the side. I was kind of surprised, and I didn't know how to celebrate. It was exciting to get my first sack." … Barwin followed that up with another 1-yard sack of Holland in the third quarter. Two snaps later on third-&-11, he took down C.J. Walker for a 1-yard loss, bringing EKU to punt … Head to Head Competition-OT# 77-Derek Hardman (6:06-292) … Defensive Impact: Barwin made five of his stops vs. the run, holding the opposition to minus 10 yards, adding two sacks, three stops behind the line of scrimmage and two third-down hits, as the defense allowed 48 yards and no touchdowns on 28 carries (1.71 ypc), and 195 total yards on 46 plays (4.24 yards per attempt).

Oklahoma … Named one of the team's game captains, Barwin delivered four tackles, including one on a third-down snap and a pressure … He hurried QB Sam Bradford on a third-&-8 incomplete pass, forcing the Sooners to punt late in the opening frame … Head to Head Competition-OT#79-Phil Loadholt (6:08-337) … Defensive Impact: Barwin made three of his stops vs. the run, holding the opposition to 19 yards, adding one third-down hit, as the defense allowed 197 yards and two touchdowns on 44 carries (4.48 ypc), and 592 total yards on 82 plays (7.22 yards per attempt).

Miami, Ohio … Barwin was a menace in the Miami backfield all day, generating three pressures to go with two sacks for minus 9 yards and four tackles (3 solos) in a 45-20 win … He leveled tailback Thomas Merriweather for no gain on a rushing attempt at the Miami 35 and then pressured QB Daniel Raudabaugh into throwing back-to-back incomplete passes four minutes into the second quarter … Merriweather was again dragged down for no gain by Barwin on a sack at the Bearcats 37 midway through the third frame … On Miami's next series, he brought that possession to an end, forcing a punt after sacking Raudabaugh for a 9-yard loss on a third-&-9 snap … The QB was penalized 17 yards for intentional grounding after Barwin pressured him on a third-&-13 incomplete throw at the Cincinnati 49, leading to another Miami punt … Head to Head Competition-OT#68-Dave DiFranco (6:04-312) … Defensive Impact: Barwin made four of his stops vs. the run, holding the opposition to minus 7 yards, adding one sack, two third-down hits and twice stopped ball carriers for no gains, as the defense allowed 66 yards and no touchdowns on 30 carries (2.20 ypc), and 393 total yards on 55 plays (7.15 yards per attempt).

Akron … The senior defensive end delivered five tackles (2 solos) with a pressure and also broke up a pass in a hard-fought 17-15 triumph … Five minutes into the contest, he stopped a Chris Jacqueman pass from being completed with a strong pressure on the QB and also deflected a toss by the quarterback near midfield late in the first half … Head to Head Competition-OT#74-Chris Kemme (6:06-310) … Defensive Impact: Barwin made five of his stops vs. the run, holding the opposition to 18 yards, adding one third-down hit, as the defense allowed 104 yards and no touchdowns on 33 carries (3.15 ypc), and 358 total yards on 75 plays (4.78 yards per attempt).

Marshall … Barwin received Big East Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors, as the defensive end excelled for the punt coverage unit, blocking two punts, including one that resulted in a safety and another that he was credited with a 19-yard return. He also posted three tackles (2 solos) with a 7-yard sack and a pressure … After chasing tail-back Darius Marshall on a 5-yard run, Barwin jammed the runner on a third-&5 crossing pattern, causing Marshall to drop the ball and forcing the Herd to punt on the opponent's first possession for the game … Midway through the opening stanza, he pressured QB Mark Cann on a third-&-14 incomplete pass, as Marshall again punted … Near the end of the first quarter, Barwin broke through the line of scrimmage to block a Kase Whitehead punt that Marshall recovered in the end zone for a safety. After the ensuing free kick, Cincinnati needed just four plays to reach the end zone, with John Goebel scoring on a 21-yard run for a 9-0 lead … Marshall would mount a 10-play series after Goebel's score, but Barwin ended that possession and forced another punt after he sacked Cann on third-&-25 for a 7-yard loss … Midway through the second quarter, the defensive end broke through the MU punt coverage protection to tackle Chubb Brown after a 25-yard punt return … For the fourth time in the game, Marshall had to punt due to Barwin wreaking havoc, as he out-leaped Darius Passmore to deflect Cann's third-&-2 incomplete pass … Head to Head Competition-OT#73-Ryan Tillman (6:05-282) … Defensive Impact: Barwin made two of his stops vs. the run, holding the opposition to minus 2 yards, adding one sack, four third-down hits and three fourth-down stops, blocking two punts, as the defense allowed 90 yards and no touchdowns on 31 carries (2.90 ypc), and 361 total yards on 72 plays (5.01 yards per attempt).

Rutgers … While the Bearcats' offense struggled, it was the heroics of Barwin on defense and Kevin Huber's punts (6-of-9 kicks downed inside the 20-yard line) that was largely responsible for the team squeezing out a 13-10 victory. The defensive end wreaked havoc in the Scarlet Knights' backfield, as he twice sacked QB Mike Teel, made another stop behind the line of scrimmage and generated three pressures, making four of his plays on third-down action … Barwin wasted no time in establishing his presence, as he sacked Teel for a 4-yard loss on a third-&-7 snap during Rutgers' first game possession, forcing the opposition to punt … Tim Brown was leveled by Barwin for a 2-yard loss on a rushing attempt during Rutgers' next drive … Early in the second quarter, he deflected a Teel pass intended for Jack Corcoran and on third-&-16, he pressured the QB into throwing an incomplete pass, bringing about another Rutgers punt … On the Scarlet Knights' next series, he sacked Teel on a third-&-5 play for minus 8 yards, as Rutgers again punted the ball away … Continuing his dominance in the trenches, Rutgers had to punt for the fourth time due to Barwin's exploits, as his third-&-11 pressure of Teel resulted in yet another incompletion … With 1:24 left in the game, Barwin was penalized for roughing up Teel on an incomplete throw at the Rutgers 33, but the Scarlet Knights failed to capitalize on that 15 yards penalty and punted the ball away shortly after … For his performance, Barwin earned Big East Weekly Honor Roll accolades … Record Watch: The Rutgers game marked the first time that Barwin registered more than one sack in a contest … Head to Head Competition-OT#78-Kevin Haslam (6:07-299) … Defensive Impact: Barwin made four of his stops vs. the run, holding the opposition to minus 11 yards, adding two sacks, four third-down hits and two pressures, as the defense allowed 62 yards and no touchdowns on 29 carries (2.14 ypc), and 254 total yards on 65 plays (3.91 yards per attempt).

Connecticut … Barwin made just two tackles, but one was a stop behind the line of scrimmage, as he added a pressure, a pass deflection and blocked the his third punt for the season, setting up the first of three Bearcats field goals … After Connecticut failed to generate a drive on the game's opening possession, Barwin blocked a punt that was recovered by Cincinnati at the Connecticut 15, leading to Jake Rogers kicking a 29-yard field goal for Cincinnati with just 1:57 off the game clock … Early in the second quarter, he beat offensive tackle Mike Hicks off the snap to take down tailback Donald Brown at the Connectict 31 for a 3-yard loss. On third-&-23, he pressured QB Cody Endres into throwing an incomplete pass, forcing the Huskies to punt … Late in the third stanza, it looked like Barwin was wearing "Superman's cape," as he leaped over the Connecticut offensive linemen to bat away an Endres pass attempt at the Cincinnati 30. On third-&-9, he jammed Anthony Sherman at the line of scrimmage, preventing Endres from completing a pass and the Huskies had to settle for a 47-yard field goal in order to salvage some points from that 44-yard, 9-play series … Head to Head Competition-OT#79-Mike Hicks (6:06-321) … Defensive Impact: Barwin made two of his stops vs. the run, holding the opposition to minus 2 yards, adding one stop for a loss, two third-down hits and one pressure, as the defense allowed 153 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries (4.25 ypc), and 349 total yards on 78 plays (4.47 yards per attempt).

South Florida … Barwin wreaked havoc all day, as the defense harried USF quarterback Matt Grothe into throwing three interceptions, as the strong-side defensive end posted seven tackles (4 solos) with a stop for a 5-yard loss, was credited with two of the team's four pass deflections and also made a successful return to offense, catching the only pass thrown to him for a 1-yard touchdown to lead Cincinnati to a 24-10 triumph … Midway through the second quarter, Barwin beat Richard Kelly to a third-&-3 pass from Grothe, batting the ball away to force a USF punt … On the Knights' first possession of the second half, he tackled tailback Ben Williams for a 5-yard loss … Later in the third stanza, he stopped Grothe on a third-&-10 bootleg that netted only 3 yards, again forcing USF to punt the ball away … Cincinnati defensive end Lamonte Nelms picked off his second career pass and first this season with 4:21 left in the first half to end a USF drive at UC's 32-yard line. Nelms picked off the ball after Barwin batted the Grothe pass into the air … At the start of the fourth quarter, Barwin lined up at tight end on a goal-line play. Cincinnati QB Tony Pike had to take a direct snap from center instead of working out of the shotgun. The force of the snap hurt his left hand, limiting him to one play the rest of the way, but that one play turned into a 1-yard touchdown pass to Barwin that gave the Bearcats a 24-10 lead. "After the touchdown to Connor, it was pretty painful," Pike said … USF failed to mount scoring drives on their next two possessions, thanks largely to Barwin's exploits. On a first-&-goal snap at the Cincinnati 7, tailback Ben Williams was flattened by Barwin after a 1-yard run. On fourth-&-goal, Grother attempted to flip a pass to Marcus Edwards, but the receiver could not get into his route, as Barwin jammed him at the line, leaving USF with no points to show for that 13-play, 75-yard series … On their final drive, Barwin batted down a third-&-5 Grothe pass that was intended for Cedric Hill … In the post game press conference, Barwin was asked how it felt to play on offense and said, "I was pumped. I was so excited to get a chance. It was a perfect pass by Pike in the back of the end zone. It was definitely fun to get in the end zone." … Asked about his stops made in the fourth quarter in the red zone, he stated, "The best part of the game was getting the stops down there. It was really exhilarating down there. We pride ourselves on that. To get two stops down in the red zone, it definitely changed the game." … Head to Head Competition-OT#60-Danous Estenor (6:03-298) … Defensive Impact: Barwin made seven of his stops vs. the run, holding the opposition to 15 yards, adding one stop for a loss, four third-down hits, one fourth-down stop and two pass deflections, including one that caused an interception, as the defense allowed 182 yards and one touchdown on 39 carries (4.67 ypc), and 356 total yards on 70 plays (5.09 yards per attempt).

West Virginia … Barwin collected three tackles and deflected a pass, but was twice charged with penalties … He batted away a Pat White pass that was intended for Jock Sanders midway through the first quarter, but at the start of the fourth quarter, he chased down White, taking the passer down for no gain. He was flagged for a "horse collar" tackle on the snap, even though instant replay clearly showed that the defensive end had grabbed White's jersey and not the opponent's shoulder pads … With less than a minute to play in regulation, Barwin's hit on White's helmet led to a roughing the passer penalty and set up a WVU touchdown, but the Bearcats prevailed in overtime for a 26-23 win (Cincinnati had a 1-14-1 record during their series vs. West Virginia before adding a second win) … Head to Head Competition-OT#66-Selvish Capers (6:06-289) … Defensive Impact: Barwin made three of his stops vs. the run, holding the opposition to 10 yards, adding two third-down hits, as the defense allowed 98 yards and no touchdowns on 42 carries (2.33 ypc), and 317 total yards on 80 plays (3.96 yards per attempt).

Louisville … Even though Barwin made only two tackles in a 28-20 loss, he helped seal the team's win in the battle for the "Keg of Nails" by "nailing" Cardinals QB Hunter Cantwell on Louisville's final desperation pass of the game … Early in the first quarter, the defensive end crashed into tailback Vic Anderson at the line of scrimmage for no gain on a rushing attempt and then forced Anderson to change field, resulting in the runner being taken down by the Bearcats' Lamont Nelms on a third-&-2 carry that netted just one yard, forcing the Cardinals to punt … Late in the second stanza, Barwin chased down Doug Beaumont after a 6-yard catch at the Louisville 31, forcing the receiver to leave the game from that jarring hit … On the Cardinals' final possession, Barwin pressured Hunter Cantwell into throwing a third-&-10 incomplete pass. On fourth-&-10, he simply flattened the passer on another failed pass attempt, leaving Cantwell crumbled on the ground, as the QB needed to be helped off the field. The Bearcats then ran out the clock and hoisted the "Keg of Nails" during their victory celebration, only the second time in their last eleven meetings that Cincinnati had defeated Louisville for the coveted barrel of nails … Head to Head Competition-OT#64-George Bussey (6:04-306) … Defensive Impact: Barwin made one of his stops vs. the run, holding the opposition to zero yards, adding one third-down stop and another on fourth down, as the defense allowed 120 yards and one touchdown on 37 carries (3.24 ypc), and 324 total yards on 72 plays (4.50 yards per attempt).

Pittsburgh … With a 28-21 win, the Bearcats took over sole possession of first place in the Big East, thanks to Barwin wreaking havoc in the backfield en route to earning league Weekly Honor Roll recognition. He registered two solo sacks and assisted on two others, adding six tackles with a pair of pressures vs. the Panthers … He jammed Derek Kinder at the line of scrimmage on an incomplete pass thrown by Bill Stull and on third-&-15, he chased down the Pitt QB, sacking Stull for a 4-yard loss to force a Pittsburgh punt early in the second quarter … Stull's third-&-9 pass intended for Cedric McGee was incomplete after Barwin pressured the QB into rushing his throw, bring out the Pitt punting unit midway through the second stanza … At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Barwin stalked his prey and flattened Stull for a 10-yard sack … With 5:39 left to play, he joined forces with defensive tackle Terrill Byrd to sack Stull at the Pitt 37 for an 11-yard loss … He again joined with Byrd in sacking Stull for minus 3 yards with 0:18 left on the game clock to preserve the 28-21 decision. What made that play more remarkable was the tenacity of Barwin. He came over the right side of the line, where he was met by two blockers that he escaped from, ran around the backside to clobber another blocker, cut to his left to avoid another blocker and then met Byrd over the Pitt center to drive Stull into the ground, as the defensive end brought the crowd to its feet with his 360-degree spin out to drop the quarterback for a loss … Record Watch: It marked the first time that Barwin made three sacks in a contest … His three sacks gave Barwin eleven for the season, tying Demorrio Williams of Nebraska (2003) for the most sacks by a major college player in that athlete's first season on defense … Head to Head Competition-OT#77-Jason Pinkston (6:04-301) … Defensive Impact: Barwin made six of his stops vs. the run, holding the opposition to minus 25 yards, adding three third-down stops, as the defense allowed 35 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries (1.35 ypc), and 264 total yards on 55 plays (4.80 yards per attempt).

Syracuse … Even though Barwin did not record any tackles, he added a trio of pressures, including one that caused an interception to set up a Bearcats touchdown drive that sealed a 30-10 win that gave Cincinnati the Big East Conference title and an automatic berth in a BCS Bowl … Barwin raised the gold-topped trophy above his head, then walked through hundreds of Cincinnati fans who got on their tiptoes and reached as high as they could, hoping to touch the keepsake with their fingertips. There's never been a day quite like this in Cincinnati … The 16th-ranked Bearcats gathered in the end zone amid tightly-packed fans to hoist the trophy that represents their first Big East title during their fourth season in the league … The Bearcats tied the school record with their tenth win, the second straight season they've reached the mark … Late in the second quarter, Cincinnati went into the locker room after Barwin pressured QB Cam Dantley into throwing an incomplete pass as time ran out in the first half … He started off the second half with the same vigor, beating three blockers to flush Dantley out of the pocket, where the QB misfired on a third-&-4 toss to force a Syracuse punt … On the Orange's next series, Barwin was in the Syracuse backfield in an instant on a third-&-7 snap, flustering Dantley, who then threw a pass that was intercepted by Cincinnati's Corey Smith for a 39-yard return to the Orange 35, where the Bearcats would set up a scoring drive that was capped by Kazeem Alli's 7-yard touch-down run to stake UC to a 20-3 lead … Talking to the media after the game, Barwin was asked about knowing they had won the league title after the results of the Pittsburgh/West Virginia game and replied, "I think the thing that we stressed is we didn't want to share it. I know last year UConn shared it with West Virginia, but no one talked about UConn. We had to prepare and stay focused, and we thought we would come out and win."..Asked to compare the Big East title to other trophies, he stated, "It's the best one because it is the hardest one to get. It really sets the whole season. It makes everything you do all year."It was heavier than I thought. They kept on telling me to get to the locker room. It got kind of hard once I got to the 50 yard line. People were bumping into me, but I wasn't going to drop it." … Head to Head Competition-OT#77-Tucker Baumbach (6:05-307) … Defensive Impact: Barwin made three pressures, including two on third-down snaps, and he also caused an interception, as the defense allowed 152 yards and no touchdowns on 27 carries (5.63 ypc), and 211 total yards on 50 plays (4.22 yards per attempt).

Hawaii … Barwin registered his eleventh sack for the season and on three tackles vs. the Hawaii running game, he held the Warriors to minus 17 yards on the ground. He also killed a late game scoring drive with a QB pressure that caused an interception that Cincinnati returned for a touchdown … Hawaii's game-opening possession was highlighted by the defensive end bursting through the line, defeating three blockers and sacking QB Greg Alexander for a 12-yard loss … Later in the opening stanza, he crashed into Daniel Libre on a third-&-1 rushing attempt, resulting in a 5-yard loss when dragged the tailback to the ground with a resounding thud that rocked the stadium and forced Libre to leave the game … Alexander's attempts to take off on a third-&-1 bootleg in the third quarter was thwarted by Barwin, who leveled the QB at the line of scrimmage for no gain … Early in the fourth quarter, Barwin sparked a Cincinnati rally from a 24-10 deficit with 10:27 left to play in an eventual 29-24 Cincinnati victory. On second-&-5 at the Hawaii 18, the defensive end simply blew past offensive tackle Aaron Kai, surprising Alexander, who was flushed out of the pocket and forced to throw off his back foot. The pass was picked off by Cincinnati cornerback Brandon Underwood, who returned the ball 20 yards for a touchdown to cut UC's deficit to 24-17 … Record Watch: Barwin's minus 17 yards on tackles for loss made him the only major college defensive lineman to hold the opposition to negative yardage rushing (45 carries for minus 12 yards) during the 2008 season … Head to Head Competition-OT#77-Aaron Kia (6:05-292) … Defensive Impact: Barwin made three of his stops vs. the run, holding the opposition to minus 17 yards, adding three solo tackles, including two on third-down snaps, and he also caused an interception, had two hits behind the line of scrimmage and a sack, as the defense allowed 45 yards and one touch-down on 24 carries (1.88 ypc), and 320 total yards on 66 plays (4.85 yards per attempt).

Virginia Tech (Orange Bowl) … Barwin closed out his career with five tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage, as he added two pressures and deflected a pass … Coming off left end, he beat offensive tack le Blake DeCristopher off the snap with an explosive burst, colliding with tailback Darren Evans in the backfield for a 7-yard loss. Tech would then attempt a 26-yard field goal at the end of that early first quarter series, but the kick was wide right, leaving the Hokies with no points to show for a 67-yard, 7-play drive … Later in the opening stanza, he first took down Evans on a 1-yard run and on third-&-7, he beat offensive tackle Ed Wang to force QB Tyshod Taylor out of the pocket, resulting in an incomplete pass on a third-&-7 play, forcing Tech to punt … With 2:23 left in the first half, Evans tried to cut back on a third-&-1 run, but was met by Barwin, who out-battled Wang to break free from the Tech's lineman's block, only to take down Evans for no gain at the Cincinnati 43 … Tight end George Boone almost broke free for a touchdown run after taking a third quarter direct snap, but Barwin fought off two blockers to chased down Boone 16 yards down the field … At the start of the fourth quarter, Barwin exploded past Wang, beat off the Tech fullback Devin Perez and clobbered Taylor on a third-&-7 pressure, as the defensive end also got a piece of the ball, deflecting the pass, as Taylor laid motionless on the field for a few minutes before wobbling to the sidelines to allow the Tech punting unit to kick the ball away … Head to Head Competition-OT#77-Ed Wang (6:05-312), OT#62-Blake DeChristopher (6:05-299) … Defensive Impact: Barwin made five of his stops vs. the run, holding the opposition to minus 3 yards, as he made five assisted tackles, including two on third-down snaps, and had two pressures, a pass break-up and one stop behind the line of scrimmage, as the defense allowed 258 yards and two touchdowns on 55 carries (4.69 ypc), and 398 total yards on 78 plays (5.10 yards per attempt).

2007 Season

Barwin played in every game at tight end (wore jersey #89), ranking fourth on the team, as he caught 31-of-41 passes targeted to him for 399 yards (12.9 avg) and two touchdowns … 22 of his receptions were good for first downs, as he converted 5-of-8 third-down throws and two more on fourth downs … Made five of his grabs inside the red zone, including two on goal-line plays, as he had key catches that set up ten touchdown drives and two more series that ended with field goals … Fifteen of his catches were good for at least 10 yards, including seven for 20 yards or longer … Produced four touchdown-resulting blocks for the ground game and on special teams, he recorded three solo tackles, recovered a pair of fumbles and blocked a punt that he returned 18 yards.

2007 Game Analysis

Southeast Missouri State … Barwin opened the season with a pair of first downs among his three catches for 33 yards in a 59-3 triumph … His first reception for the season came on a third-&-5 toss from Ben Mauk, good for 11 yards, as the Bearcats had 15 yards tacked on to the play due to a SEMO roughing the passer charge … He added an 18-yarder with 0:32 left in the first half … Head to Head Competition-SS#15-Jared Goodson (6:01-220)-Seven tackles (2 solos) … Offensive Impact: Barwin caught 3-of-6 passes targeted to him, as two of those catches were for at least 10 yards, producing one third-down grab, as the team completed 24-of-36 passes for 301 yards, gaining 615 yards on 83 plays (7.41 yards per attempt).

Oregon State … The tight end totaled 15 yards on two catches, including a third quarter 6-yarder that gave the Bearcats field position to kick a 55-yard field goal … Head to Head Competition-SS#39-Daniel Drayton (5:10-204)-Four tackles (3 solos).

Miami, Ohio … For the first time in his career, Barwin exceeded the century mark in receiving yardage, amassing 109 yards on six receptions, as three of his receptions were for at least 20 yards each and two came on red zone plays … He turned a Dustin Grutza toss into a 31-yard catch-&-run, setting up the QB's 13-yard scoring pass to Greg Moore that capped an 83-yard, 7-play game opening series … He added 20 and 13-yard grabs that placed the ball at the Miami 29, but the drive stalled and Cincinnati settled for a 27-yard field goal on a second quarter 11-play, 71-yard possession … His 9 and 8-yard catches were followed by Miami's Chris Shula being penalized for interfering on a pass intended for Barwin, setting up a 5-yard touchdown run by fullback Doug Jones, who used a hole created by Barwin taking down defensive end Travis Cravin on the snap in the third quarter … He also kept an early fourth quarter drive alive by catching a fourth-&-1 throw for 28 yards … Head to Head Competition-SS#6-Robbie Wilson (6:00-214)-Six tackles (3 solos) … Offensive Impact: Barwin caught all six passes targeted to him for first downs, adding another first down on a Miami penalty, with three of those catches good for at least 20 yards, producing one fourth-down grab, as the team completed 26-of-37 passes for 297 yards, gaining 438 yards on 79 plays (5.54 yards per attempt).

Marshall … Barwin collected his first touchdown for the season, totaling 39 yards on three catches while also recording a solo tackle … He brought down Emmanual Spann on the punt returner's 15-yard run back early in the second quarter … QB Ben Mauk found his tight end with a 16-yard throw and then used a block by Barwin for an 18-yard gain on a draw that got the ball to the Marshall 27 on Cincinnati's next series. Mauk followed with a 27-yard scoring strike to Marcus Barnett that concluded a 7-play, 92-yard possession … At the start of the fourth quarter, Mauk flipped a 16-yard sideline toss to Barwin that was downed at the 7-yard line, where the tight end then powered past two defenders on third-&-goal for a 7-yard touchdown that capped a 72-yard, 8-play series … Head to Head Competition-SS# 19-John Saunders (6:00-192)-Nine tackles (4 solos), one pass deflection … Offensive Impact: Barwin caught all three passes targeted to him for first downs, with two of those catches good for at least 10 yards, producing one third-down grab, as the team completed 20-of-27 passes for 219 yards, gaining 436 yards on 66 plays (6.61 yards per attempt).

San Diego State … The only pass targeted to Barwin in the game was overthrown by Tony Pike in the third quarter … Head to Head Competition-SS#20-Ray Bass (6:00-196)-Nine tackles (6 solos), two pass deflections.

Rutgers … For the second-straight game, the only pass targeted to Barwin was off-target on Ben Mauk's third-&-10 attempt midway through the first quarter … Head to Head Competition-SS#6-Glen Lee (6:02-199)-Seven tackles (6 solos), one forced fumble, one fumble recovery.

Louisville … Two passes targeted to the tight end were deflected, but he came up with a potential touchdown-saving tackle, bringing down Woodny Turenne after the cornerback picked off a Ben Mauk pass at the UC 25 for a 1-yard return in the closing seconds of the game … Head to Head Competition-SS#38-Deon Palmer (6:00-206)-One solo tackle.

Pittsburgh … After a three-game drought, Barwin managed to grab both passes thrown to him, picking up 12 yards … He converted a short third-&-2 toss from Ben Msauk into a 3-yard gain and a first down in the first quarter … Head to Head Competition-SS#10-Mike Phillips (5:11-202)-Five tackles (4 solos), one stop for a 1-yard loss, one pass deflection.

South Florida … While Barwin did not catch any passes, he wreaked havoc with the USF special teams, blocking one punt, recovering another blocked punt and also recovered a blocked field goal, earning Big East Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors … Midway through the first quarter, he blocked a Delbe Alvarado punt at the USF 18 that was recovered by Cincinnati's Antwuan Giddens in the end zone for a touchdown … In the fourth quarter, he raced down field, distracting Marcus Edwards, as the punt returner called for a fair catch, but dropped the ball and Barwin pounced on it at the USF 16 … Later in the final frame, USF defensive end George Selvie blocked a Cincinnati 48-yard field goal attempt, but Barwin recovered the ball near midfield … Head to Head Competition-SS#32-Carlton Williams (6:04-214)-Four solo tackles, one stop for a 1-yard loss.

Connecticut … Barwin was called for a false start, but also caught three short passes for 7 yards and his second touchdown for the season … On third-&-goal, QB Ben Mauk lobbed a 1-yard scoring pass to his tight end, capping an 8-play, 56-yard possession … Head to Head Competition-SS#36-Dahna Deleston (6:00-198)-Nine tackles (4 solos).

West Virginia … The tight end caught the only pass thrown to him for 8 yards and also made one tackle for the punt coverage unit … Late in the third quarter, he chased down Vaughn Rivers on a 14-yard punt return to the West Virginia 33 … Head to Head Competition-SS#41-Eric Weeks (6:01-207)-Two tackles (1 solo).

Syracuse … Somehow forgotten in the offensive attack for the last seven games, Barwin came up with four receptions for 90 yards, setting up a pair of scoring drives while also delivering a touchdown-resulting block … Early in the first quarter, Ben Mauk fired a 30-yarder to Barwin that got the ball to the Syracuse 2. From there, he cleared a rush lane used by tailback Bradley Glatthaar for a 2-yard scoring run that ended a 54-yard, 6-play series … Mauk's deep pass was hauled in by his tight end for 38 yards, setting up the QB's 8-yard touchdown throw to Marcus Barnett with 6:01 left in the first half … Head to Head Competition-SS#26-Dowayne Davis (6:00-200)-Seven tackles (3 solos), one stop for a 1-yard loss … Offensive Impact: Barwin caught all four passes targeted to him, including two for first downs, with two of those catches good for at least 30 yards, setting up two scoring drives and delivering a touchdown-resulting block, as the team completed 29-of-43 passes for 431 yards, gaining 544 yards on 75 plays (7.25 yards per attempt).

Southern Mississippi (Papajohns.com Bowl) … In Barwin's final game as a tight end, he turned the ball over once on a fumble and was tackled once behind the line of scrimmage, as he produced six first downs among his seven receptions for 86 yards … He converted a third-&-10 Ben Mauk toss into a 22-yard gain, but lost the pigskin after a 19-yard catch at the Cincinnati 42 that was recovered by Southern Mississippi … Later in the opening frame, he was stopped for a 10-yard loss on a backfield pass … Midway through the second quarter, he snatched 11 and 26-yarders for first downs, setting up Mauk's 14-yard slant pass to Dominick Goodman for a touchdown to finish a 7-play, 75-yard possession … The tight end added a 9-yard catch and then flattened linebacker James Denley, giving Mauk time to lob a 5-yard scoring toss to Goodman with 0:24 left in the first half … A pass interference charge on safety LeVance Richmond, who mauled Barwin on a third-&-7 pass, put the ball on the USM 28. Barwin then grabbed a fopurth-&-1 throw for 9 yards at the USM 10, where Mauk then flipped a 10-yard touchdown to Antwuan Giddens … Head to Head Competition-SS#15-LeVance Richmond (5:11-198)-Five solo tackles, a 9-yard interception return … Offensive Impact: Barwin caught 7-of-8 four passes targeted to him, including six for first downs, converting two third-down throws and another on fourth-down, with two of those catches good for at least 30 yards, setting up two scoring drives and delivering a touchdown-resulting block, as the team completed 30-of-52 passes for 334 yards, gaining 405 yards on 78 plays (7.25 yards per attempt).

2006 Season

The Bearcat Academic Honor Roll member started two of the thirteen games he played in (vs. Ohio State and South Florida) for the football team and also joined the Cincinnati basketball squad, appearing in 23 contests after the conclusion of the gridiron season …

Sharing tight end duties with Brent Celek, Barwin (wore jersey #89) ranked sixth on the team, catching 13-of-18 passes targeted to him (opposition deflected three of those attempts) for 148 yards (11.4 avg) and two touchdowns … Nine of his receptions were good for first downs, as he converted 2-of-7 third-down throws and one more on fourth down … Seven of his catches gained at least 10 yards, with two going for 20 yards or longer … Had key grabs to set up three touchdown drives and another that ended with a field goal … Was penalized once and turned the ball over on a fumble once … Led the special teams coverage unit with eight solo tackles, two resulting in lost yardage by the opposition, as he also blocked a kick.

2006 Game Analysis

Eastern Kentucky … Barwin opened the season with a 12-yard reception and made a crunching tackle for the kickoff coverage unit … His catch put the ball at the EKU 33 in the first quarter, helping cap that 9-play, 66-yard drive by upending defensive end Cardius Dowell on a 2-yard touchdown run by Butkler Benton … Late in the third quarter, his hit on Lewon Lurry's 18-yard run back knocked the kick returner out of action for four weeks … Head to Head Competition-SS#26-Brandon Gathof (6:01-207)-Six tackles (4 solos) … Offensive Impact: Barwin's only reception set up a Cincinnati scoring drive, as the tight end also produced a touchdown-resulting block on the play.

Pittsburgh … The tight end added a 5-yard catch in the second quarter to go with a pair of solo tackles for the punt coverage squad … Pitt's Darrelle Revis was tackled by Barwin for a 1-yard loss on a punt return after the game's first possession, the only time in 2006 that Revis did not return a punt for positive yardage … He again took down Revis on a third quarter 5-yard return, as Pitt's Aaron Berry was penalized 10 yards for holding Barwin on the snap … Head to Head Competition-SS#46-Sam Bryant (6:00-221)-Six tackles (5 solos) and a pass deflection … Special Teams Impact: Barwin's two tackles on punt returns resulted in minus 7 yards for the opposition.

Ohio State … Barwin earned his first career start, but did not record any statistics … Head to Head Competition-SS#32-Brandon Mitchell (6:03-209)-Two tackles (1 solo).

Virginia Tech … Barwin was heavily involved in the game plan, snaring all three passes that were targeted to him for 36 yards, but turned the ball over once on a fumble. He also made a solo tackle after a Cincinnati interception … The Bearcats had a chance to score on their first possession of the game. QB Dustin Grutza connected with Derrick Stewart for a 51-yard pass play, somehow getting the pass off while being tackled, and then found Barwin with a 13-yard pass on the Tech 5, but the tight end fumbled the ball while being tackled … He made up for that miscue with a 20-yard reception at the start of the second quarter … With 0:41 left in the game, he tackled Vince Harris after the safety picked off a Grutza pass at the Tech 49 for a 3-yard return … Head to Head Competition-SS#36-Aaron Rouse (6:04-224)-Three tackles (1 solo) … Offensive Impact: Barwin caught all three passes targeted to him, producing two first downs, with one catch for 20 yards, as the team completed 14-of-20 passes for 159 yards, gaining 280 total yards on 58 plays (4.83 yards per attempt).

Miami (Oh.) and Louisville … Played in both games, but did not record any statistics.

Akron … Barwin's only catch was a 1-yarder, setting up a Cincinnati 35-yard field goal in the third quarter … Head to Head Competition-SS#37-Jason Nedd (6:01-214)-Eleven tackles (6 solos), a 5-yard sack, one fumble recovery.

South Florida … Barwin earned his second career start, catching one pass for 17 yards at the end of the second quarter … Head to Head Competition-SS#33-Jeremy Burnett (6:01-193)-Seven tackles (5 solos).

Syracuse … Barwin spent the day on special teams, dragging down Kareem Jones on a 22-yard kickoff return in the first quarter.

West Virginia … In his most extensive offensive action, Barwin hauled in all five passes thrown to him for 68 yards and a pair of touchdowns, producing four first downs for the day … With Nick Davila relieving Grutza at quarterback, Barwin scored his touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Davila connected with the tight end on a third-&-15 toss for 15 yards, ending a 6-play, 58-yard possession … He also snared a first-&-goal toss for a 5-yard score on a 79-yard, 7-play drive … Head to Head Competition-SS#22-Ridwan Malik (6:01-204)-One solo tackle … Offensive Impact: Barwin caught all five passes targeted to him, producing four first downs, two touchdowns, one third-down catch and another on fourth down, as the team completed 23-of-41 passes for 310 yards, gaining 367 total yards on 72 plays (5.10 yards per attempt).

Rutgers … Barwin's only reception was a 9-yarder for a first down late in the first quarter and he also posted a solo tackle for the kickoff coverage squad, taking down James Townsend on a 17-yard runback in the opening stanza … Head to Head Competition-SS343-Ron Girault (5:11-199)-Seven tackles (4 solos), one stop for a 1-yard loss, one fumble recovery.

Connecticut … The reserve tight end made a huge impact on special teams, as he partially blocked a punt and made a jarring hit on the kickoff coverage squad … He tipped a Chris Pavasaris 23-yard punt early in the second quarter … Later in the third stanza, he took down Rich McClain on a 27-yard kickoff return … Special Teams Note: Barwin's blocked punt was the first time a Bearcat blocked a kick since Evan Sparks blocked a punt vs. Syracuse on October, 20th, 2005.

Western Michigan (International Bowl) … Barwin closed out his sophomore season by delivering a tackle after a Cincinnati interception … QB Nick Davila was picked off by Paul Tithof at the Cincinnati 46, but Barwin pounced on the defender, tackling him for a 1-yard loss.

2005 Season

Barwin was one of only two true freshman to letter for the Bearcats, appearing in all eleven games as a reserve tight end (wore jersey #89), in addition to playing on special teams … Caught 8-of-14 passes targeted to him, good for 144 yards (18.0 avg), one touchdown and eight first downs … Had key catches to set up six touchdown drives, coming up with four receptions for at least 20 yards each … Recorded two solo tackles and recovered a fumble.

2005 Game Analysis

Eastern Michigan … Barwin was one of sixteen Bearcats to make their collegiate debut in the game, but he did not record any statistics.

Penn State … In his first extensive action, Barwin caught 2-of-3 passes targeted to him for 72 yards, recovering his own fumble … The tight end's first career reception was good for 34 yards that was downed at the PSU 2, where he helped clear the way for tailback Bradley Glatthaar's 2-yard touchdown run that capped a 7-play, 64-yard late fourth quarter series … On the team's next possession, Barwin recovered his own fumble at the PSU 10 after a 38-yard catch, setting up QB Nick Davila's 5-yard scoring lob to Earnest Jackson … Offensive Impact: Barwin's two catches were both good for first downs, setting up scoring drives, as the team completed 29-of-49 passes for 329 yards and gained 360 total yards on 83 plays (4.34 yards per attempt).

Western Carolina … Barwin's third career reception, a 28-yarder, set up a Cincinnati second quarter touchdown … He grabbed that Dustin Grutza pass and barreled down to the WCU 7, where Bradley Glathaar finished off that 89-yard, 9-play series with a timely block from Barwin for a 7-yard touchdown … Offensive Impact: Barwin's third catch for the season set up a touchdown drive, the third time he did that in 2005.

Miami (Ohio) … Barwin registered a pair of first downs for the Bearcats, one on a Miami penalty and another on a fourth quarter 6-yard catch.

Pittsburgh … The tight end did not catch any passes and was penalized for an illegal block while playing on the punt coverage unit in the third quarter.

Connecticut … Barwin's only reception came on a third-&-goal toss from Dustin Grutza for the tight end's first career touchdown, good for 7 yards on the first possession of the second half … Offensive Impact: Barwin's 7-yarder was the team's only aerial touchdown, as the squad completed just 9-of-21 passes for 125 yards and gained 348 total yards on 61 plays (5.70 yards per attempt).

Louisville … QB Nick Davila misfired on two passes to Barwin before finding the tight end with a 22-yarder that set up the passer's 11-yard touchdown pass to Bill Poland in the fourth quarter.

Syracuse … Barwin was the standout of the kickoff coverage unit, delivering a pair of solo tackles … On the game's opening kickoff, he leveled Kareem Jones on a 52-yard return to the Cincinnati 48 … Later in the second stanza, he chased down Tim Washington on a 22-yard runback.

West Virginia … Played, but did not register any statistics.

South Florida … Barwin's short catch for 4 yards and a timely block on a bootleg by QB Dustin Grutza helped set up the passer's 25-yard touchdown pass to Dominick Goodman in the second quarter.

Rutgers … The tight end closed out his freshman season with a 5-yard catch in the third quarter.

Injury Report

No major injuries reported.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.47 in the 40-yard dash … 1.53 10-yard dash … 2.58 20-yard dash … 4.12 20-yard shuttle … 11.43 60-yard shuttle … 6.69 three-cone drill … 43-inch vertical jump … 10'10" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times … 33-inch arm length … 9 7/8-inch hands.

Combine: 4.59 in the 40-yard dash … 1.58 10-yard dash … 2.68 20-yard dash … 4.18 20-yard shuttle … 6.87 three-cone drill … 40.5-inch vertical jump … 10'8" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 21 times … 33-inch arm length … 9 7/8-inch hands.

Basketball

Barwin lettered twice as a swingman for the Cincinnati Bearcats (2005-07) after joining the team as a walk-on … In 41 games, he scored 45 points (1.1 ppg), as he shot 41.5 percent from the field (17-of-41 field goals) and 61.1 percent from the foul line (11-of-18 free throws) … Pulled down 72 rebounds (1.8 rpg), including 34 from the offensive glass … Handed out nine assists with eight steals and blocked 13 shots (0.3 bpg).

High School

Attended the University of Detroit (Mich.) Jesuit High School, playing football for head coach Scott Merchant … Recipient of the team's Offensive and Defensive Most Valuable Player awards … Added All-District, All-League and All-Catholic honors and was rated the state's 17th-best prospect by the Detroit Free Press … selected to play in the East-West All-Star Game … Also lettered twice in basketball, garnering second-team All-League honors as a junior and All-Catholic recognition in his final year … Led the hoops squad to the district title as a junior.

Personal

Secondary Education major … Son of Margaret Bailey and Tom Barwin … Born Connor Alfred Barwin on 10/15/86 in Southfield, Michigan … Resides in Hazel Park, Michigan.

 
Latest News
04/28/2009 - A closer look at the Texans' picks: Round 2/46 -- Connor Barwin, DE, 6-4, 256, Cincinnati...He was arguably one of the most versatile athletes in the draft. He played both offensive (tight end) and defensive for the Bearcats, recording 12 sacks and 17 tackles for losses as a senior. He wowed scouts at the Combine, managing a 40 1/2-inch vertical leap and running the 40 in 4.59 seconds. He will play with his hand down as a quarterback-dogging defensive end, probably backing up Mario Williams.

04/21/2009 - If Connor Barwin wasn't already high on draft boards as a defensive end, he'd be high on those same boards at tight end. Barwin started at tight end for Cincinnati in 2007 and caught 31 passes. But last spring, Bearcats coach Brian Kelly approached him about moving across the line to defensive end ??? and that's where he started in 2008. "Throughout college, I thought tight end was the position for me because I had that special skill set ??? that toughness, that ability to play in space and beat safeties and linebackers," Barwin said. "I still think I have those abilities, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I really found a passion for playing defense and being in an attack mode. I really enjoyed playing defensive end." Not only did he enjoy it, Barwin excelled at it. He led the Big East in sacks with 11. "I was excited about having a big senior year playing tight end," Barwin said. "But when Coach talked to me about it, I bought in pretty quickly. He told me it was going to help my versatility and help me get into the NFL the next year...It seemed to work out." - Rick Gosselin, McClatchy-Tribune News

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