by: DOMINICK PUENTE/Staff Writer

Auburn running back Peyton Barber was one of the leading rushers for the War Eagle football team last season.

However, the redshirt sophomore running back has decided to skip the final two years of his college career.

A number of underclassmen announced they will enter the 2016 NFL draft. The recent news of Barber announcing his decision to enter the next level of football has turned many heads and left many people questioning why he elected to enter the draft so early, even though he has so much potential to do great things in the final years of what could have been a fantastic college career.

Barber recently explained to the media his decision to enter the draft early was because of his mother. He explained to the media that his mother recently became homeless and had to live with his sister and her children. The news of his mother losing her house influenced Barber’s decision to enter the draft early in hopes of helping his mother get back on her feet with an NFL paycheck.

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Barber also said that this was not the first time his family has faced struggles throughout the years. But it is not devastating to him and his family. Barber’s mother Lori Barber, mentioned that she was proud of her son’s efforts, even though the she was surprised about her son’s decision to go into the draft early.

A son who is willing to sacrifice the final two seasons of his college career as the starting running back for a prestigious SEC college in order to help his family is an honorable choice. Keeping one’s family as a number-one priority should always be the case, in my eyes.

Barber has shown many people across the country that he has the skill to achieve great things at the next level. The team that chooses to take him will have a great player, on and off the field. He shows great athletic ability on the football field, along with great team cohesiveness and excellent moral character off the field.

Barber trying to help his mother and family overcome these tough times is a class act of unselfishness and true love for the ones he cares about. If I was to be put in that situation, I would follow in his footsteps. Doing this for his mother is a wonderful way to set a good example for anyone following him and his story. A family is people someone holds close to them for their entire lives, and Barber proved to be there for his loved ones no matter what the circumstances appear to be. Having that type of mentality can take someone a long way in life, and he has supported that fact with the way he handles himself.

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Barber has come across many obstacles of his own throughout his career college career. In his first two years with Auburn, Barber struggled with the War Eagles play book, due to ADHD and dyslexia.  Media sources explained that Barber was considering the option of transferring to another college when he did not win a starting spot in the beginning. However, he chose to stick through his struggles and put his own desires aside for the love of his team. Having that type of mentality is a great quality in an athlete, and in anybody, for that matter.

As he progressed through his college tenure, Barber proved to be a top-notch athlete for Auburn and earned the Auburn offensive MVP award in 2015. This has shown that he is willing to stick through adversity when it is put in front of him. Barber could have walked away from a great opportunity Auburn gave him. But he chose to grind and battle through his problems and develop great character during his journey.

Following his story from when he is drafted to the skill he displays on the football field will be a great thing for me to watch. But nothing will be better than to hear how he and his family overcome this obstacle they are facing.

Posted by Plainsman Press Staff

The student newspaper of South Plains College.

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