11W Community Interview: IMG Academy Defensive Tackle Malik Barrow

By Jeremy Birmingham on June 21, 2015 at 11:15 am
Malik Barrow steps into the 11W Community Interview hotseat
Malik Barrow

The 11W Community Interview is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people. You submit the questions, vote on them, and then we pass the top ones on to the biggest names in the world of Ohio State athletics.

Ohio State's pressing need for at least two defensive tackles in the 2016 class was partially addressed early in the recruiting cycle when they received a commitment from Malik Barrow. A 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive lineman, Barrow lines up at defensive end for the IMG Academy, but the Tampa native will be a defensive tackle in Columbus. 

The country's 297th-ranked overall prospect, Barrow committed to the Buckeyes during a visit to Ohio for the Buckeye spring game in April. 

Today, he steps in the Eleven Warriors spotlight and answers your questions in the 11W Community Interview.

Without naming names, what's the weirdest thing a coach has said or done during the recruiting process?YTownBucki

MB: The weirdest thing a college coach had done during the recruiting process had to have been during the spring evaluation period. A coach who was watching practice asked me to walk over to the other side of the field and then call him so we could talk.

Do you have any gameday rituals?  What are some of the weird ones you may have encountered or heard about?  TeddyBallgame

MB: Nothing too weird. I just like to be alone with my music and thinking about my assignment. I just visualize myself going out there making big plays and go get after it. 

What are some goals that you would like to accomplish during your tenure at THE Ohio State University? KingXBuck

MB: My goals, basically, are take it one day at a time. In the short term, I want to get off to a great start academically and become a great practice player so I can crack the lineup. Long term, I want to become an All-Conference, All-American-type of player and most importantly graduate. Making it to the highest level, the NFL is another big goal for me. 

What's more important in assessing a college football program as a recruit - the last 5 years, or the last 50 years? MinnBuck

MB: The combination of short term success and long term tradition of success, both are important. Ohio State just happens to have both.

You play with a lot of power. Did the discussion of strength and conditioning coaches come into play with your college choice? What is your thoughts on Mickey Marotti?  Brutus360

MB:  Coach Marotti is the best in the business! Yes, absolutely his success at Florida and now at Ohio State played a factor. He and his team take great pride in developing players physically and mentally.

The 2014 Ohio State and Navy game stands out...Just to see the respect the coaches and players had for our future Naval leaders was outstanding

Which current buckeye player do you feel the closest with?  How big of impact did your relationship with that player have on your commitment? UniotoTank55

MB: Freshman Jashon Cornell, I had a chance to spend some time with him on my last visit. I think him being a defensive lineman, and him just getting settled into the program because he enrolled early allowed me to feel comfortable knowing I can also make this big transition. 

Assuming you are a college football fan, how hard was it for you to put aside your fandom and really research all the schools that offered you during the recruiting process? Or was being an Ohio State fan something that helped you decide to commit here?JakeG14

MB: Believe it or not, I wasn't a huge college football fan of any one particular team. Once offers started rolling in, a recruit just has to choose the best school for him. My parents helped me to put everything into perspective and pointed out little things we had to be aware of. We watched a lot of games last year but not just touchdowns and sacks; we had to look at the players discipline, how the coaches interacted with them, how players treated each other and responded in tough situations. The 2014 Ohio State and Navy game stands out in my mind; it was very impactful. Just to see the respect the coaches and players had for our future Naval leaders was outstanding. My dad immediately sent Mark Pantoni a Twitter message remarking how impressed he was. 

You know your strengths and your weaknesses. What are you doing to work on the latter ?ToTheHouse

MB: Just overall strength and conditioning training, mainly working my core. I'm working on staying low and using my hands as weapons and doing lots of footwork and hand-speed hand drills. Aside from the physical part, I'm trying to improve my overall discipline so that I can handle the rigors of being in a major Division One program, especially time management! I have to get better at that to be able to survive a college program. I just want to prepare to have an amazing senior season. 

Larry Johnson, Sr. is regarded as one of the best defensive line coaches in the business. How much impact did his presence on the staff and his history of putting guys in the NFL have on your decision to attend Ohio State?KansasBuckeye

MB: Coach Larry Johnson's presence on the staff is huge and played a major role in my decision. Aside from his obvious, public success; he is a respectful, motivating, man of faith. He was the only coach to say, "I want to invest in you," and that he "constantly seeks out ways to make you better on the field, but more importantly, off it." He says one day you'll be in a husband, and father, and he wants to make sure to have a positive impact on that aspect of my life as well. My parents were instantly drawn to him. He truly wants to see his players be great men on, and off, the field.

Are there any specific recruits that you are trying to get to become Buckeyes? HoboChops987

MB: I'm recruiting lots of guys! Locally in Tampa are my former Tampa Catholic teammates Nate Craig and Devan Barrett, my IMG teammates are Cam Spence and Emmanuel Greene, and nationally Rashan Gary and Antwuan Jackson. They're all great athletes but also great character guys that would fit the Ohio State mold and program.

Thanks everyone for the questions!

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