The Colorado State Rams Football team is much improved this season thanks to a much improved defensive attack. At the head of that defense attack is senior Shaquil Barrett. This is Barrett's third season in a Rams' uniform after spending his first season at Nebraska-Omaha. Barrett played in 12 games his sophomore including 11 starts.
Barrett's breakout season was in 2012 where he finished fifth on the team with 67 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Barrett was selected by four publications as a preseason first-team All-Mountain West athlete (Athlon, Blue Ribbon, MW media, and Phil Steele). He also earned Phil Steele midseason first-team honors.
Shaquil Barrett is one of the most decorated Rams football players in recent memory, but what is more impressive about Barrett is his life away from football. He balances being a husband, father and full-time student athlete.
Recently Barrett sat down to share his thoughts on life away from football, what it is like to balance having a family while being a full-time student athlete, his relationships with other players on the team and what he would like to do after college.
On this being his senior season and him being a leader of the team
"I love being a leader, and I love the opportunity to influence people under me. I feel as though being a leader on the team that you, as coach Jim McElwain would say wear the "Sombrero" and "always be the target out there." I love having leadership roles and I am a real lead by example type of person. So whenever I get on the field I feel as though I need to exert all my will and my 100 percent energy so that the people that are watching me see how hard I go, and want to give the same type of effort."
On his relationship with co-captain Weston Richburg and some of the other people on the team
"I have a great bond with a lot of the players on the team. I know ever since coach McElwain came in we had to introduce ourselves to each other when we would go lift weights everyday and try to meet someone new everyday. I fee las though I know a lot of people on the team. I have relationships with a lot of guys. Weston and I went to Las Vegas together and roomed together (for the Mountain West Media Days) and we just got to talk about stuff that we otherwise wouldn't get to talk about on a regular basis. For me, its just really good to get to know a lot of the other guys to just see what they want in life and just know stuff about them like where they are from, stuff about their family and just get to know other players on a more personal basis. I am really close with some of players on the team and they spend time around my kids and will probably have a large influence on my kids' lives."
On having kids and a family outside of football
"At times it can be tough but you just have to create time for everything. For instance I try to leave the house a couple hours early before class starts to get my schoolwork done. Usually after practice I try and go home to spend as much time with the kids as possible right before they go to bed. It can be tough to wake up in the middle of the night if the kids are ever sick because I am usually the one who gets up because I like to let my wife sleep because she is the one who has the kids all day. I knew what I was getting into when I decided to have a family along with being a student-athlete, so I try to never let that be an excuse for anything else in my life."
On having time just to himself
"Sometimes when the kids go to sleep and when my wife works late I sometimes get a two or three hour window to do what I like to do like play video games, or browse around on the internet, or maybe buy something for the kids or for my wife. I really don't require too much me time, I am all about my family."
On his "me time" being out there on the football field
"I would say that it's pretty accurate to say that my escape is on the football field. Sometimes I get frustrated every once in a while, so it can be nice to relieve some stress on the football field. I don't have any other worries when I'm out on the football field, I know what I need to do and I can do it fast."
On his plans after college
"Well, I'm getting my degree in criminal justice so I wouldn't mind going into criminal justice of some kind. My first plan is to try and make it at the next level and get an opportunity up there. If that doesn't work out, I don't have plans on which state I want to live in but I would like to put my degree to good use."
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