Barry Wesley brings unrivaled passion for CSU, Rams football

Colorado State offensive tackle Barry Wesley almost quit playing football after the eighth grade and did not seriously consider playing college football until after his sophomore season. Barry knew one thing though-he wanted to be a Colorado State Ram.

The 6-foot-6, 310 pound offensive tackle toured the university when he participated in a contact camp during his sophomore year at Bear Creek High School in Lakewood, Colo. and immediately fell in love with everything that the campus had to offer.

After the camp, Wesley found himself chatting with his father and told him that whether he was going to be a football player or not, he knew Fort Collins was likely going to be his future home. 

With a big smile on his face, Wesley described touring the school and seeing the student recreational center for the first time and interacting with the employees, who apparently won over Wesley with their politeness. 

"They were just so nice," Wesley said. "I feel like it was a glimpse into what the entire Fort Collins community is like. The other biggest factor was the campus itself. I fell in love with how open and how green everything is. I love the colors here and how the leaves in the oval change during the fall."

Despite having the size of a prototypical offensive tackle and a well rounded high school resume (including being Bear Creek's starting left tackle and a member of the school choir), Wesley did not receive any Division 1 offers out of high school.

After briefly contemplating giving up the sport altogether, Wesley decided to join his former high school teammates, Jake Bennett (2013-17) and Bisi Johnson (senior) and joined the football team as a preferred walk-on in 2017. 

"Bisi took me under his wing and was there for me, no matter what I needed. Jake was the same way," Wesley said. "If I had any questions about the schemes or class or anything, I had them right there."

There were some nerves for Wesley at first, especially as he learned to deal with the emotions of being overlooked by schools throughout the recruiting process. But, Wesley's mindset changed early last season and once the timidness went away, he realized being a walk-on did not mean he deserved to be in that locker room any less than the scholarship players.

Wesley began to work intensely with the coaching staff and his veteran teammates, trying to soak up everything that he could to help improve his game. More than anything though, Wesley focused on keeping a positive attitude and approaching every facet of football with extreme attention to detail. 

Sophomore offensive tackle, Barry Wesley explains his mindset and the process of being a walk-on.   PHOTO:   Justin Michael (07/30).

Sophomore offensive tackle, Barry Wesley explains his mindset and the process of being a walk-on. PHOTO: Justin Michael (07/30).

"Coach (Dave) Johnson says that football is important to me and I think that is true," Wesley said. "Just try to keep doing the little things right and show the coaches that you care and know what you are doing. If you do that, eventually the coaches see it and give you more reps."

"So, that has been what this whole last year has been about, just doing the right things," Wesley continued. 

Now in his second year in the program, Wesley is coming into his own under first-year offensive coordinator Dave Johnson. The Colorado native has worked his way into the regular rotation of offensive linemen and according to head coach Mike Bobo, Wesley might even work his way into the starting five this fall. 

"Barry is a lot like Bisi (Johnson)" Bobo said. "He comes to work everyday and has committed himself since he got here. He just works and does whatever coach asks him to do-not just during the meetings or practice, but on his own."

Bobo explained that coach Johnson has a lot of trust in the young tackle, often flipping him between the left and right sides, and even occasionally throwing him in for some reps at guard.

"He makes some mistakes because we are playing him at all these positions, but he is the guy that can handle all of it... This is a guy that has proven himself on this football team, has earned the respect of his teammates and has a chance to be in the top five."