John Barton won't let knee end dream

John Barton (Twinsburg, Ohio/Twinsburg) has a message to those schools that have suddenly disappeared after a season-ending knee injury knocked him out of what looked like a promising swan song.

“Hey, don’t give up on me,” said Barton before Friday’s game between Twinsburg and Lancaster.

As a sophomore, Barton came onto the scene with a season that included 681 yards rushing, 376 yards receiving and seven total touchdowns.

He backed that up by rushing for 1,307 yards on 204 carries and scoring 27 touchdowns as a junior. Add the 32 catches for 486 yards and four scores and Barton was ready to add more than a few Division I colleges with interest to his resume.

But with his knee completely blown out Toledo, Northwestern, Columbia, Penn, Ohio University and Kent State stopped showing interest.

Harvard, which had offered Barton, is still around but is more on a wait-and-see plan with him.

“It’s tough, but it’s life. It happens,” Barton said. “You just have to move on. Hopefully, the right school will take a chance on me. It puts a chip on my shoulder, for sure.

“I haven’t been more motivated to get healthy than right now. I’m going to do everything I can to get into a good school. Hopefully, they’ll feel the same way about me as I do them.”

For the time being, Barton and Twinsburg coach Joe Schiavone will continue to send out tape and hope for the best.

“Usually, it’s six months, but I’m already walking after two weeks,” Barton said. “I’m healing fast. I was going to have a bigger year this year. I hope they trust that and believe that and give me another chance.”