Washington added to its depth for the 2024 season last night by picking up a commitment from Vanderbilt grad transfer linebacker Ethan Barr. He started 39 games through four seasons with the Commodores, including two as team captain, and has one year of eligibility remaining as a grad transfer. 247’s Matt Zenitz first reported Barr’s expected commitment and he confirmed the move in an interview with Dawgman.
The 6’3, 245 lb Barr was a low-to-mid three-star recruit in the 247 Sports Composite Rankings coming out of high school but made an early impact at Vanderbilt. He began as a reserve from day one during the 2020 Covid-shortened season but became a starter by the end of the year and held that role for the next 3 years. During his career to this point he has played over 1,800 snaps and wracked up 220 tackles and 32 QB pressures.
Husky DL Coach Inoke Breckterfield coached on the Vanderbilt defensive staff in 2021 when Barr was a sophomore so there is some insider knowledge about Barr’s talent and work habits. Barr has had consistently below average PFF grades throughout his career but has been playing on a team that is an underdog in almost every conference game it plays which certainly doesn’t help. Ralen Goforth had similar numbers at USC but had the best season of his career as a reserve for the Huskies this year.
It seems most likely that Barr will begin the season in a similar role to Goforth in 2023. Washington loses both Goforth and Edefuan Ulofoshio but returns starter Alphonzo Tuputala and super reserve Carson Bruener. It would make the most sense for Tuputala and Bruener to get the 1st team reps and for Barr plus either walk-on Drew Fowler or one of the redshirt freshmen (Deven Bryant or Jordan Whitney) to rotate heavily with the 2nd team. The Huskies also bring in true freshman Khmori House at the position.
He becomes Washington’s 2nd portal addition this cycle along with Mississippi State QB Will Rogers. The Huskies are hosting several other players this weekend so hopefully there are more commitments to come shortly.