By the time his freshman season ended, he weighed 290.
By the middle of his sophomore year, he weighed 270.
His feet even shrunk, going from a size 18 to a size 15 or 16.
“I just lost weight, in general,” Barnett said. “I'd come home and my mom would just try to feed me. She was like, ‘You're not eating.' I'm like, ‘I'm fine.' It's just what I wanted to do … I wanted to tone my body up.”
So Barnett was already in good physical shape when he arrived at OSU last winter. Rob Glass' strength and conditioning program, naturally, made him even stronger and better conditioned. He played in the 292-295-pound range as a junior.
But what most allowed Barnett to immediately ascend up OSU's depth chart last spring and become an important contributor for the Cowboys' defense, coach Mike Gundy said, was intelligence.
“Sometimes guys we get are not focused mentally and it takes them a while to get adjusted to our system,” Gundy said. “Calvin was farther ahead in that area.”
Barnett finished 2012 with 30 tackles (8.5 for loss), one sack, four quarterback hurries and one pass breakup. Expectations are even higher this season, with Barnett at the center of the Cowboys' revamped defense.
He began camp at 299 pounds, but insists the additional pounds are muscle. And he'll keep working to build himself into a stronger defensive tackle — the type that would thrive in the SEC or in any conference in college football.
“I still don't think I look as good as I should,” Barnett said. “I will one day.”
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