By Aldo Puccini
After Mark Robinson stepped down from USF Football’s radio analyst position, the University of South Florida reached out to one of their former defensive stalwarts and asked him if he would be interested in becoming the Bulls’ new radio analyst, it shouldn’t have come as such a surprise. Yet, Sam Barrington who played at USF from 2009 to 2012 and went on to play in the NFL, couldn’t believe he got the call.
“When they reached out to me about potentially fulfilling this position, I was totally surprised,” said Barrington who is USF’s 10thall-time leading tackler. When your university reaches out to you and tells you ‘Hey we have an open position, we feel you are the epitome of what we’re looking for,’ that’s an award without saying anything else.”
In replacing Robinson, who stepped down from the position after 21 seasons in the booth, Barrington knows he has some big shoes to fill, yet that hasn’t stopped him from preparing any different. According to the Bulls’ new radio analyst, prepping in the press box isn’t too much different than prepping on the field.
“I find myself getting in the same mood that I would get into had I been playing,” said Barrington.
The former Bull made sure to specify that he’s not as menacing in the booth as he was on the field.
“A little less ferociousness, a little less tenacity, but that same type of focus because the game of football moves so fast.” There are so many individuals who are listening to our broadcast and are counting on me to paint the picture of what’s going on, on the field.”
For Barrington, an added perk of working with the university directly is being able to help mentor the student-athletes who are in the same shoes that he was in not too long ago.
Barrington was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL draft and played at Green Bay until the 2016 season. Just like he did while at USF, the former Bull also left his mark on the Packers’ organization. Barrington was nominated as the Packers’ 2015 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award nominee.
“Our athletic director, Michael Kelly but also coach Charlie Strong, provide tremendous opportunities for player and alumni mentor relationships,” said Barrington. That’s so important because being an athlete is not easy.” Making the transition from a sport, going into the real world and getting a job is not an easy transition. It’s definitely important for me to come back and to speak to some of these guys about that process and let them know what to expect, and how to excel.”
This new chapter in the life of the former USF linebacker has him feeling as grateful as ever for his time as a Bull, then and now.
“The University of South Florida is a prime reason I am the individual that I am today,” said Barrington.