Nick Barret is a workaholic who always brings his best to the football field on every play.
The Eastern Wayne senior is always working to become a better player, a better leader, and a better teammate.
He eats, sleeps, breathes, and lives the passion that started when he picked up a football in the third grade.
“I didn’t really start thinking about college football until high school,” Barrett said. “Meeting those college recruiters changes your whole mindset.
“When you see those DI schools walk through the door, it makes you want to play at the next level.”
And after three years of dominating the Eastern Carolina 3A/4A Conference, Barrett is ready for his next challenge.
On Wednesday, Barrett signed a national letter of intent to play football at the University of South Carolina.
A few other DI schools recruited Barrett, but South Carolina was the best fit, and Barrett is ready to earn playing time as a freshman.
“It’s a blessing, and I’m glad that I’m signed,” Barrett said. “Now it’s on to the next thing, and I’m ready to get started. I felt like South Carolina was the best fit for me.
“I like the university as a whole, and it’s not just about football.”
On the gridiron, Barrett was simply unstoppable last season for the Warriors. In 11 games, Barrett led the team in sacks (15), tackles for loss (15) and was third on the team in tackles (70).
He has 114 tackles and 17 sacks for his career, and he was named the Eastern Carolina 3A/4A defensive player of the year last season.
His playmaking ability helped Eastern Wayne reach the playoffs in 2018. And despite the Warriors winning one game last season, Barrett said he was thankful for his time in a Warriors jersey.
Barrett’s presence on the football field commands respect from opposing teams. He answered Eastern Wayne head coach Leander Oates’ call on every occasion and gave maximum effort, even if the result did not always favor his team.
“Coach Oates was a big part in helping me get to the next level,” Barrett said. “Coach Oates played a big part in my recruiting process, so without him, none of this would be possible.”
Barrett decided to graduate high school early, and he will enroll at South Carolina in January.
The Gamecock’s finished 2-8 this season, including a 1-4 record against South Eastern Conference opposition last season. Still, with Barret on the roster, it will not be long before the Gamecocks return to their winning ways.
“With COVID pushing the season back to February, I decided to go ahead and enroll early. So, I can get that head start,” Barrett said. “I enjoyed my time at Eastern Wayne, and I wish I could’ve had a senior season.”