Name: Cade Barnard
School: United States Military Academy at West Point
Q: What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
This season, I set out to help my team win whether that was on or off the field. Off the field, I helped build a positive winning culture as an offensive leader that maintained the Army Football standard in practice, the weight room, and the film rooms. On the field, I wanted to become the best lead blocker in college football – to always put the runner behind me in a position to score or gash the defense.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
My coaches and teammates would call me an effort player. I always tried to think to myself, “What if this is your last rep of football ever? Would you be satisfied?” This is a game that everyone eventually stops playing – a game I may never play again. So, the last thing I would do is half-ass a rep whether it is in a game or a walk-through.
Q: When you are studying film, what are the things you focus on to improve your game?
I watch film to know exactly what all 11 offensive players’ assignments are on every single play. For me, understanding the entire scheme of the offense helps me play faster and make decisions to help the play succeed. As a lead blocker, sometimes you have to help chip blocks back or abandon your initial assignment to help the play. Therefore, understanding the full offense helps me make those decisions in a split second. I also watch the defense to see where the reduction comes from or any “giveaways” on blitzes so I can see how a play is going to work out before the ball is snapped.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
Two things: Skill diversity and willingness to sacrifice. I can play a multitude of positions including true fullback, H Back, Running Back, Tight End, Inside Linebacker, and every single special team. If a team gives me a shot, I will find a way to contribute. I am also willing to sacrifice for the team. Football is a violent, unforgiving sport. There are some of us who live in the shadows and always play with violent intentions every rep to help the team win. We do not score, and we do not get interviews, but we dominate the player across from us. I am one of those players.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
I plan on continuing to get faster, stronger, and more explosive to prepare for another football season and perfect my footwork and position technique. I am also starting to prepare for a career as an officer in the Infantry. If I am blessed to play football at the next level, I will be ready. However, I am not neglecting my preparation to serve my country. So, I am also getting ready to run or ruck long distances which is a different “in-shape” than football training.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
My strength is my leadership ability. I am not a very talkative person, but my effort and constant pursuit of perfection is something my teammates will look to as an example of what right looks like and what it means to be a professional.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL and any other pro leagues?
My final pitch to the NFL is that you will be getting a player that knows no limits. I will work harder than anyone on the field. I refuse to lose and refuse to let my teammates down. I am ultimately just grateful for the opportunity to represent myself, the academy, and the US Army by playing in the NFL. And if I am not given the opportunity, I am equally as excited about a career in the US Army. And I am willing to put all the effort and professionalism I mentioned above into being the best Second Lieutenant I can be as an officer in the Infantry.