Anthony Ray Barker (born September 7, 1968 in Wichita, Kansas) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League. He played college football at Rice University.
1 High school career,
2 College career
2.1 College honors,
2.2 College statistics,
3 Professional career,
4 Post-football career/Personal life,
High school career:
Barker began attending Wichita Northwest High School in Wichita, Kansas in 1984. While at Northwest, he participated in football, basketball, and shot put in track and field. However, he gave up basketball and track after his junior year. In High School he played Offensive Tackle and Defensive End. His senior year he was voted to the 1986 High School All-American football team, as an honorable mention player, as well as being voted 1st Team All-City as an offensive tackle, defensive end, and punter.
Barker was voted to the Wichita Eagle's all-time Wichita High School Football team as a 1st team offensive tackle. Also on that team was former Detroit Lions Defensive end Lawrence Pete (who went to South), Linebackers Mark (Seattle Seahawks/Indianapolis Colts) and Mike Bell (Kansas City Chiefs) (Both went to Bishop Carroll), Pro-Football Hall of fame running back Barry Sanders (North), and current Tennessee Titans Linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, who is (like Barker) a Northwest alumni.
Barker was highly recruited by multiple Division I programs. Barker's final selection came down to Kansas and Oklahoma State and with encouragment from his parents, he picked Kansas. He was recruited as a defensive end, but while watching film of another recruit, his coaches noticed his speed and decided to switch him to Linebacker.
After the 1988 season, head coach Bob Valesente left and Glen Mason took over, because of the coaching change, Barker transferred to Rice after his sophomore season. By NCAA regulations he had to be redshirted his junior year. He missed the final game of his senior season due to a concussion. Despite the injury, he still drew attention from NFL scouts, following a stellar senior season, in which he was named to the 1991 All-Southwest Conference team.
His honors at Rice include:
5th All-Time for single season tackles-127 (1991),
8th Most interceptions in a season-5 (1991),
All Southwest Conference team (1991),
2 time Lettermen (1990, 1991),
Jess Neely Linebacker Award (Top Linebacker) (1991),
DNP --- Red Shirted
After the NFL combine, the Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders expressed interest in Barker. Ultimately he was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 10th round (280th overall pick) in the 1992 NFL draft. He signed a 1-year contract worth $110,000, the league minimum at the time, a common occurrence for late-round picks. Barker was released during the preseason, but was eventually resigned. As a rookie, he mainly played on special teams, but had two starts at outside linebacker against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks. After the season, Barker's contract expired and Joe Gibbs retired. Following Gibb's retirement, Richie Petitbon took over, and chose not to renew Barker's contract. Barker was, however, reunited with his coach at Kansas, Bob Valesente, when the Green Bay Packers signed him before their 1994 training camp, but he was released 2 days before the first pre-season game (Valesente was a linebackers coach with Green Bay that season). Barker decided not continue his career, despite several offers from minor league teams and the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europa (then, NFL Europe).
Post-football career/Personal life:
Barker currently resides in Texas. He works at Wells-Fargo as a Home Mortgage Consultant. He married his wife, Laura, in March 2005. He has 2 children from a previous marriage and 2 step-children from his wife's previous marriage.