You could say that St. Albans’ Jayson Barrett is never out of position simply because he plays so many.
In no certain order, Barrett has lined up at the following positions for the Red Dragons football team: quarterback, running back, wideout, kick returner, defensive back, outside linebacker and long snapper.
“Any position, really,’’ said Barrett, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior. “I just like it when the ball’s in my hands. I try to get it done.’’
Barrett doesn’t just show up at all those spots on the football field. More often than not, he excels for the Dragons (3-4), who are 17th in this week’s Class AAA playoff ratings.
As a sophomore in 2015 for then-SA coach Steve Stoffel Jr., Barrett was the main quarterback and led the team in passing. A year later under current coach Scott Tinsley, Barrett split time at running back and QB and led the Dragons in rushing.
This season, with the arrival of freshman quarterback R.T. Alexander at St. Albans, Barrett has been shifted to receiver and not only leads the team in receiving yardage, he tops the Mountain State Athletic Conference with 39 catches.
Not bad for a guy who’s been everywhere, man.
“He’s leading the conference in receiving,’’ Tinsley said, “and if we played him at tailback, he’d be among the leaders in rushing. When we get down in the red zone, he leads us in scoring because he knows how to get into the end zone.’’
Of Barrett’s 10 touchdowns this season, seven have come on short rushing plays, one on a reception and two others on returns.
“We have stuff in there every week for him [in the game plan],’’ Tinsley said. “Some weeks, we feel we can get him on the edge because he’s got pretty good speed. We get him some sweeps — we even put in a little bit of a wing-T jet sweep this year for him, and he scored on that late against University.
“We’ve got a lot of screens for him, and our other receivers understand that they have to make good blocks for him. They understand that he’s kind of the main guy to catch those. We also have some halfback passes in there, though we haven’t thrown any this year.’’
Barrett agreed that knowing all the positions, all the formations and all the plays is quite a lot, but notes that “it’s not too hard.’’
“Quarterback was the hardest,’’ Barrett said, “because you have to know way more. I didn’t like it that much. I like to be called a receiver, but I just do whatever to help the team.’’
Tinsley is also learning how to get the most out of Barrett, whom he and his family adopted more than a year ago. That was basically behind the decision to move Barrett from running back to quarterback (at midseason last year) to receiver (this season).
“One of the things we found out last year,’’ Tinsley said, “is that he had so many touches that he got banged up a lot. So this year, we tried not to wear him out early in the year.
“That’s probably been a detriment to his numbers because we tried to spread it out more this year rather than just pounding it to him. So it’s kind of held him back a little bit [in statistics], but he’s such a team player and a good kid that it’s not showing in his performance.’’
Tinsley said that Barrett has sort of become a coaching intern since he shares a residence with one.
“It is a lot for him [to learn],’’ Tinsley said, “but he hears it all the time because he lives with me. He hears it here at the field, he hears it when he gets home. So he gets a double study of it.
“So far, he’s made very few mental mistakes this year with a whole lot on his plate.’’