Year 1 done: Auburn RB Devan Barrett ‘appreciates’ coaching, Kerryon Johnson’s impact

Auburn Tigers football-running back Devan Barrett-Kerryon Johnson

Devan Barrett’s takeaways from his freshman season had little to do with his own on-field experiences.

The Tampa, Fla., native totaled 79 yards on 14 carries, but he also took note of everything happening around him as Auburn climbed to the top of the SEC. It was a memorable year to say the least.

He seems really, really happy,” said Tampa Catholic High School coach Mike Gregory. “Which, that’s always Step 1 for those guys is making sure they’re happy with the setting and environment they are in.” 

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Barrett was less concerned with minutes and attempts during his first season at Auburn and was more focused on listening to everyone around him, whether that meant a coach or an upperclassmen. The newcomer understood long before he stepped on campus that it would be the best way to achieve his goals.

“You can definitely tell he appreciates the coaching he’s getting from Coach [Tim] Horton and some of the other offensive guys on that staff,” Gregory said. “He seems really excited about coaching. He’s excited about the opportunity to compete. He knows he’s gotta put some weight on, get a little bit bigger to be an every down back in the SEC, but he’s confident in his abilities.”

With Horton commanding the running backs’ meeting room Barrett got a good grip on the offense and was never intimidated or overwhelmed. His relationships with his coaches developed naturally after he arrived on campus.

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“Obviously it’s different being in college,” former Auburn receiver and Tampa Catholic wide receiver coach Jeris McIntyre said. “But I think Horton has brought him along step-by-step and has taught him to be patient and work hard every day.”

Barrett also paid close attention to everything Kerryon Johnson did. That’s how he figured out the importance of patience, every day improvement and taking care of his body — little things that will go a long way.

Devan Barrett is a likely candidate to replace Kerryon Johnson (21) during the next couple of seasons, since both offer versatility and posses the skill set of a wide receiver. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

“I think that’s huge. Any time he can learn from a guy who’s been through it and been in the same situations,” Gregory said. “He took advice and latched onto the older guys. Those are the guys that, first of all are honest with you. And they are the guys who’ve been through it, who’ve done it.”

At the end of 2017, Johnson was leading the conference in rushing yards (1,391) and opted to pursue a NFL career. What was perhaps even more important than the way Johnson found holes or battled through injuries, however, was the way the Huntsville, Ala., native, approached things off of the field. Barrett took special notice of that, too.

“Kerryon is a great guy, a model citizen. Everyone likes him and he carries himself well in the meeting rooms and off the field,” McIntyre said. “That’s something that Devan is learning, just how to be a pro’s pro — take care of your body, things like that. It helped him a lot having someone like Kerryon around.”

The post Year 1 done: Auburn RB Devan Barrett ‘appreciates’ coaching, Kerryon Johnson’s impact appeared first on SEC Country.

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