Bowling Green's Freddie Barnes: Week Seven's Most Impressive Player

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Bowling Green's Freddie Barnes: Week Seven's Most Impressive Player

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Sports Management major and senior Freddie Barnes stands at 6'2", 206 lbs.  He helped his team Saturday win a come back 36-35 victory over Kent State with a spectacular performance of his own.

With the help of his QB Tyler Sheehan's, impressive 44-for-63, 505 yd, and 4 TD game, Freddie was able to score three of those TDs and haul in 22 receptions for 278 yards.  His third TD accounted for 45 yards, as he weaved through four defenders, stiff-arming another on his way into the end zone, and helping the Falcons cut the lead to 35-30.  QB Tyler Sheehan then won the game on his feet by running in a nine-yard TD with five seconds to go and helping the Falcons snap their 4 game losing streak.

Freddie Barnes's 22-reception and 278-yard performance on Saturday earned him a spot on ESPN's "First Take" on Wednesday morning, where he chatted with host and former Bowling Green alumn Jay Crawford.

There, he explained that the Falcons planned to, and did, take advantage of Kent State's "soft coverage."  This was evident just by the 505 yards they put in the air versus only managing 43 yards on the ground.  The Falcons outplayed the Golden Flashes in every major statistical category, and, most telling, held the ball for 15 minutes and 40 seconds longer then the Flashes did.

Freddie was looking forward to redeeming himself in a big way this week after dropping a key reception last week against Ohio, which could have won his team the game.  Ironically, after his big performance, he explained on "First Take" that he was taken aback by the "ESPN attention" and "Helmet Sticker" he was awarded on ESPN's "College Football Live" show.  This dual-threat QB in high school red-shirted in 2005 and was successful as a QB,RB, & WR combo in 2006.  In 2007, he began his first year as a full-time receiver.

Freddie currently leads the nation with 75 receptions and 722 receiving yards per game.  He has four games this year with double digit receptions while also being on pace to have 150 catches, which would shatter the single-season record of 142 set by Houston's Manny Hazard in 1989.  Manny had plenty of help from the Cougars pass-friendly offense in '89, and with the Falcons continuing the same trend, Barnes certainly could pass that record.

As of now, Freddie is the MAC East Offensive Player of the week and is a nominee for the MAC Offensive Player of the Year award as well as the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation's top wide receiver.  With Freddie being a senior, it would be nice to see him at least take home one of these awards by season's end.

While a Heisman Trophy maybe far-fetched for him due to the mediocrity of the Mid-American Conference compared to bigger divisions in College Football, the reality of playing on Sundays next season might not seem so far away for Barnes.

NFL teams would love to have a guy who can bounce back from a demoralizing mistake the previous week and compete the way Barnes did on Saturday.  Don't be too surprised if Freddie Barnes finds a spot on your favorite team in April 2010.

Watch Freddie Barnes and the Bowling Green Falcons travel to Indiana to take on the winless Ball State Cardinals on Saturday at 12:00 PM EDT. 

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