Countdown to Kickoff: 75 Days (Mike Barwick Jr.)

Written By: Nick Holmes (@HoosierHolmes)

Seventy-five days separate the Hoosiers from their first contest in 2015, when they battle Southern Illinois on September 5th at 4 P.M. at Memorial Stadium. The last time the Salukis made the trip to Bloomington was in 2006, leaving victorious and costing the Hoosiers a valuable "W." By the end of the season, that loss loomed large as the team finished 5-7 and fell a game short of the postseason. To continue our countdown, we take a look at number 75, redshirt freshman, Mike Barwick Jr. 

Mike Barwick Jr. receiving an Award from the Anthony Munoz Foundation for being the top Defensive Lineman in Ohio's Division VI.

Mike Barwick Jr. receiving an Award from the Anthony Munoz Foundation for being the top Defensive Lineman in Ohio's Division VI.

Barwick Jr. was one of three recruits in the 2014 class from the Cincinnati area. During his prep career he was a four year starter for Coach Michael Brown at The Summit Country Day School. The talented defensive lineman shined for the Silver Knights during his junior and senior seasons, when he was named first team all-state both years.

His outstanding play during his final season with the Silver Knights led to him being recognized by the Anthony Munoz Foundation as Ohio's top defensive lineman in Division VI. When his high school career came to a close, he was Summit's record holder for most fumble recoveries in a career, most tackles for loss in a career, most sacks in a game and a career, and third all-time in tackles.

While Barwick Jr. was clearly a force on the gridiron, there's no denying the impact he had off the field, volunteering for more than 100 hours in his community, which was double what the school required for graduation. Additionally, he mentored younger students from economically disadvantaged areas.

Mike Barwick Jr. - Defensive Lineman
Michael Barwick Jr.Redshirt Freshman
Cincinnati, Ohio
Summit Country Day

His coach echoed the sentiment that Barwick Jr.'s impact would be missed both on and off the field. “One of the most special things about Michael Barwick is his ability to be a dominate, terrorizing figure on the football field, but be a compassionate and caring classmate and member of the community off of the field,” said Summit Head Football Coach Mike Brown in his nomination letter to the Anthony Munoz Foundation. “I am going to miss the leadership he brought to the Summit Football team over the last four years."

Future Outlook

While Barwick Jr.'s ability to contribute this year might be somewhat limited due to the the Hoosiers returning multiple experienced veterans along the defensive line, he certainly looks poised to be a factor in following seasons. However, with uncertainty surrounding Ralph Green III after his arrest in April, Barwick could see more playing time than anticipated this fall.