It’s hard to have a last name better suited to play for Washington than current softball star Madi Huskey. But the Dawgs picked up one that’s pretty close when Oregon transfer CB Darren Barkins announced his commitment to UW. He has 3 years of eligibility remaining.
The corner out of Chula Vista, CA in the class of 2021 originally chose the Ducks over offers from Washington, Utah, UCLA, and Oklahoma. Although the Husky coaching staff at the time led by Jimmy Lake only officially offered Barkins a few days before he committed (within a week of exactly 3 years ago). Barkins was part of the increasingly infamous class of 2021 where players weren’t able to get on campus in the spring due to COVID restrictions and so player/school fit was more difficult to ascertain. That may be seen in part by Barkins being listed as 6’0 on 247’s player page at the time and 5’9 on the Oregon roster once he got to campus.
During his 2 seasons in Eugene, Barkins played 40 defensive snaps per Pro Football Focus during which he gave up 1 catch for 9 yards in 3 pass attempts his direction. It’s not a lot of a track record to go on to try to project future performance.
Cornerback was the biggest issue on last year’s roster and the coaching staff was aggressive in trying to fix it this offseason. They added through the JUCO ranks (Thad Dixon who often played with the #2 unit in the spring), prep ranks (4-stars Caleb Presley and Curley Reed plus Leroy Bryant), and transfer portal (Oklahoma State starter Jabbar Muhammad and now Barkins). It looks like Muhammad will start and Dixon will be a rotation player right away but it remains to be seen where a player like Barkins will end up on the depth chart.
After several portal entries at the end of spring practices, the Huskies now have 82 players on the roster with room to add another portal player or two and/or promote a walk-on to scholarship. That includes 12 players that can be considered corners on the roster which includes both outside corner spots plus the Husky position. That designation makes more sense now that Mishael Powell appears to have the inside track on that starting role after being moved. Barkins joins 4 others with 3 years of eligibility remaining including, presumptive starter alongside Muhammad, Elijah Jackson plus Davon Banks, Jaivion Green, and Dyson McCutcheon. McCutcheon is listed as a Husky on the team roster.
Barkins joins the list of recent transfers in the Oregon-Washington rivalry. Defensive lineman Taki Taimani transferred from Seattle to Eugene before last offseason and played a reserve role for the Ducks last year. Meanwhile, center Franck Kepnang in men’s basketball moved North to Montlake where he was heavily involved before tearing his ACL early in the season.
Welcome to Seattle, Darren!