Player Spotlight: Quinn Barham

Story posted September 16, 2011 in CommRadio, Sports by Breanna Jacobs

Although the Nittany Lions recorded their first loss of the season last Saturday against Alabama, offensive tackle Quinn Barham could not have been more proud of his fellow offensive linemen.
Barham, who is in his fifth year with the team, was disappointed about the loss. However, he felt good not just about his performance, but his teammates’ as well.

“We felt our confidence definitely raise,” Barham said on Tuesday. “It was boosted after playing Alabama. We’re in a good spot right now.”

It is no wonder that Barham feels so good. In his five years with the team, he has showed that he is an asset to the offensive line.

Barham began his college football career in 2007 as a redshirt freshman. However, he suffered a broken left ankle in early November, leaving him unable to play for the remainder of the season.
Barham was eager to get on the field in 2008. After an injury to Doug Klopacz, Barham was moved from guard to center. He snapped the ball in six games, three of those being wins against Big Ten competitors Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan State.

In 2009, Barham transitioned from center to right guard. Again, he played in six games, but he was itching to become a starter.

Although he was not a starter, 2009 was an important season for Barham. He earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for his performance in the classroom, an accomplishment that the May 2011 graduate was very proud of.

Barham would finally become a starter in 2010, his senior season. Prior to the start of the season, Barham was moved to left tackle, which would become his permanent position on the offensive line. He was on the field for 917 plays and he started all 13 games.

Penn State’s offensive line only allowed 12 sacks in 2010, ranking them second in the Big Ten and 13th in the nation for fewest sacks allowed. Barham also helped the team gain 350 plus offensive yards in nine separate games.

Barham’s most remarkable game in 2010 was against Northwestern. Barham was on the field for a season high 90 snaps. Barham blocked like a champion, helping two teammates earn over 100 rushing yards. The Nittany Lions posted 528 yards of total offense in the game against the Wildcats, leading coach Joe Paterno to his 400th career win.

Looking at the current season, many believe that Barham has the potential to be an All-Big Ten selection. But Barham is not focused on that right now; he is focused on the improvement of the offensive line.

Although he felt confident about the team’s performance against Alabama, Barham was especially concerned about the low numbers the offense put up. The Nittany Lions posted 251 total yards of offense, and only 108 of those yards were rushing yards.

“Our big issue is just a matter of executing at the right time,” Barham said. “And it’s usually that maybe one or two guys just miss their assignment or not execute to their potential.”

Going forward into this week’s game against Temple, Barham knows what the offense needs to focus on.

“Just putting everything together at the right time and go one play at a time,” Barham said. “That’s definitely going to help us out.”

There is no doubt that Barham will continue to lead the offensive line in their pursuit of success. With his tough style of play and blocking ability, Barham will continue to limit opposing defenses’ accessibility to the quarterback and open up lanes for rushers.

Penn State will travel to Philadelphia this weekend to play against Temple, with Barham firmly situated at left tackle.

Breanna Jacobs is a sophomore majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact her, e-mail: