Ahmad Barron has the type of personality that easily could make him a fan favorite.
Very much the outgoing type, Barron is an athlete who can make moves on the field and bring together people off of it. In other words, he has leadership skills.
Playing ability? There’s no doubts there. Barron ran for 1,627 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior as his Tattnall Square football team went 12-1, won the GHSA Region 7-1A championship and made it to the Class 1A private school semifinals. He’s also the starting point guard on his school’s basketball team, which is currently leading its sub-region.
Academics? The first-team All-Middle Georgia football selection has that lined up, too. He says he’s looking to major in engineering, not exactly an easy major.
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There’s just one thing that’s giving college football recruiters pause.
At 5-foot-9 and 174 pounds, Barron doesn’t fit the mold of a high-level collegiate running back. A look at Georgia’s 2016 roster, for example, shows just two running backs or tailbacks of the nine on the Bulldogs’ roster at Barron’s height or smaller, and neither one of those players recorded a carry.
Still, with the stories of smaller players making it big that have been told through the years, wasn’t somebody going to take a chance on Barron?
“That’s a big problem,” Barron said. “All coaches want size nowadays. But my heart? You can’t judge that.”
Height helped one of Barron’s teammates land a college scholarship offer. Wide receiver and strong safety Jimmy Marshall, who at 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds was the tallest player on the Tattnall roster last fall, will be signing with Middle Tennessee when National Signing Day rolls around Wednesday.
Barron didn’t get an offer from Middle Tennessee, but he’s holding out hope for post-signing day offers from programs like those, lower-level FBS and FCS programs who lose players to bigger programs on signing day.
“I see him tweet, ‘Heart over height’ a lot,” Marshall said. “With Ahmad, there’s a whole lot of heart.”
If Barron were to sign Wednesday, Kennesaw State would be a possible landing spot. The young FCS program recruits heavily in-state, and the university’s engineering program — the former Southern Poly program — is attractive. Barron is also considering Reinhardt and the University of the Cumberlands.
Still, Barron is holding out hope for some late interest from bigger programs.
“We’ll see,” Barron said. “I’m just waiting right now, trying to make the best decision for me and my family and see what I can get for the best opportunity.”
Georgia Top 25
1. Richard LeCounte, S, Liberty County, Georgia
2. Aubrey Solomon, DT, Lee County, undecided
3. Davis Mills, QB, Greater Atlanta Christian, Stanford
4. Andrew Thomas, T, Pace Academy, Georgia
5. Jake Fromm, QB, Houston County, Georgia
6. AJ Terrell, CB, Westlake, Clemson
7. Xavier McKinney, S, Roswell, Alabama
8. Deangelo Gibbs, S, Grayson, Georgia
9. Netori Johnson, G, Cedar Grove, Georgia
10. Jamyest Williams, CB, Grayson, South Carolina
11. Malik Herring, DE, Mary Persons, Georgia
12. Tray Bishop, CB, Terrell County, Georgia
13. Robert Beal, DE, Peachtree Ridge, Georgia
14. Jaden Hunter, LB, Westlake, Georgia
15. Jeremiah Holloman, WR, Newton, Georgia
16. Trey Sermon, RB, Sprayberry, Oklahoma
17. William Poole III, CB, Hapeville Christian, Georgia
18. Markaviest Bryant, DE, Crisp County, Undecided
19. Leonard Warner, LB, Brookwood, Undecided
20. Nate McBride, LB, Vidalia, Georgia
21. LeAnthony Williams, CB, Roswell, Clemson
22. MJ Webb, DE, Morgan County, South Carolina
23. Walter Grant, LB, Cairo, Georgia
24. Chase Brice, QB, Grayson, Clemson
25. DeeJay Dallas, ATH, Brunswick, Miami
Middle Georgia Top 15
1. Jake Fromm, QB, Houston County, enrolled at Georgia
2. Malik Herring, DL, Mary Persons, committed to Georgia
3. Tae Daley, DB, Northside, committed to Vanderbilt
4. B.J. Sharpe, DL, Southwest, uncommitted
5. Tobias Oliver, QB, Northside, committed to Georgia Tech
6. Kevin Nixon, LB, Peach County, committed to Troy
7. Malik Clark, LB, Baldwin, committed to Louisville
8. Eli Watson, WR, Houston County, considering Cincinnati, Georgia Southern, Mercer, Troy
9. Jimmy Marshall, WR, Tattnall Square, committed to Middle Tennessee
10. Kyle Nixon, DB, Peach County, committed to Troy
11. Caleb Etheridge, OL, Mary Persons, committed to Western Kentucky
12. Amari Colbert, WR, Houston County, committed to Western Kentucky
13. Caleb Kelly, OL, Northside, committed to Georgia Southern
14. Willie Taylor, ATH, Bleckley County, committed to Washington State
15. Ahmad Barron, RB, Tattnall Square, considering Kennesaw State, Reinhardt, University of the Cumberlands