Name: Austin Barnes
School: Eastern Michigan graduate transfer to East Carolina
Q: What were some of your goals heading into your final collegiate season?
My final collegiate season goals included: to be the best teammate I could be, lead the American Conference in punting, and to out perform my prior season statistics.
Q: If you could describe your style of play in 3 words, what would they be?
Passionate, precise, dominant.
Q: How will you train and prepare this offseason for the draft or other pro opportunities?
I just completed my first week of training of the new year in Orlando. I also just played in the Tropical Bowl, where I was named the overall Special Teams MVP. Then in the next few weeks, I am set to train in New York and Arizona.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on or look for?
I look at the punt block formation, more specifically the edge rushers, and then I study the dynamics of the returner.
Q: What separates you from the other players at your position?
What sets me apart from other Punters is my ability to punt in all weather conditions, as I have endured Michigan blizzards and North Carolina easterly winds. I was a 5 year starter at two D1 Universities with 0 punts blocked. I was a Ray Guy semifinalist, 2nd team All-MAC Conference punter, and I lead the American Conference in punting this past season with an average of 44 yards.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
My strengths include my ability to handle directional punting in diverse weather conditions. I am always on time, reliable, and I never give anything less than my best.
Q: What is your final pitch or sell to NFL and other pro league scouts?
My directional punting will be surgically proficient and I am confident I will deliver an eye opening performance each time I take the field. My performance is a distraction to those competing against me.
Q: Any other thoughts?
First and foremost, I want to thank God for this talent and ability to play this game and my amazing mother Angela Barnes for believing in me from the very beginning. I want to thank EMU Head Coach Chris Creighton, as I have the utmost respect for him and his leadership ability and I also want to thank ECU Special Teams Coach Shannon Moore for making my transition easy. Finally, I want to thank EMU Eagle fans and Pirate Nation for their love and support.