Besides the food tray entering the media room around noon, nothing else caused NFL writers and television people alike to turn their heads at this year’s NFL Combine quite like T.J. Barnes stepping foot in the room.
For those that didn’t know the 6-6, 369-pound prospect, his name was quickly Googled when Barnes arrived for the media portion of the 2013 NFL Combine.
The slender Barnes (he lost 10 pounds during the month of February) comes from a family of football players but it’s T.J., who carries the biggest frame.
His father, Terry, joined a pair of cousins on the gridiron at Auburn University.
T.J.’s brother, Beau Reliford played tight end at Florida State University and spent time with the Washington Redskins last season.
Reliford went through the entire draft process and his younger brother is keeping him close throughout his own journey.
“My older brother helped me out a lot with this whole process and telling me what I need to do. For me, the process is a lot easier than it normally would be,” Barnes said.
“He went through it last year and he just took me under his wing and told me what I need to do and how to go about.”
While both faced off during their time in the ACC, it was T.J. who clogged the middle for his team’s defense.
T.J. tied a Georgia Tech school record playing in 54 career games and made the transition to a 3-4 nose tackle during his career.
His weight is always fluctuating and T.J. says he hopes to continue to shed pounds as he tries to sustain an ideal playing weight.
“It’s not a concern for me because I hide my weight well,” T.J. said of his 350+-frame.
“When I take off my shirt, they are like where is the weight at. I still want to be comfortable and be able to play at 350 pounds.”
Tags: Georgia Tech, T.J. Barnes
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