Tight end Trae Barry out for the season

Trae Barry carrying the football and being chased downfield. (Courtesy of JSU)Trae Barry carrying the football and being chased downfield. (Courtesy of JSU)

Josie Howell, Sports Editor

In Jacksonville State’s loss against Austin Peay on Sept. 28, junior tight-end Trae Barry suffered from a knee injury that eventually put him on crutches for the remainder of the game. Barry then sat out in last Saturday’s win against Tennessee State. After having an MRI done, it was determined that he would have to sit out for the rest of the season.

Barry has been an integral part of the Gamecocks football program since his freshman year in 2017 and his absence could potentially cause a setback for the gamecocks for the remainder of the season.

As a true freshman, Barry started in three of the 11 games he appeared in as tight end. He was deemed a Freshman All-American by both Phil Steele and HERO Sports and was named All-Ohio Valley Conference Second Team on offense. Barry also caught 10 passes for 243 yards and recorded three touchdowns in his freshman year.

Barry made his first touchdown reception against Liberty on Sept. 23, 2017 at Burgess-Snow Field. This 80-yard touchdown catch was the seventh-longest catch in JSU history and the second-longest touchdown catch by a freshman.

In his Sophomore year, Barry made six starts in his 12 appearances in 2018. He caught 32 passes for 503 yards and recorded a touchdown for the Gamecocks. His touchdown reception was a 44-yard catch and run against Eastern Illinois. This touchdown was his longest reception of the year that resulted in a 49-22 win over the Panthers. 

Barry was able to record his highest receiving yards in the 2018 game against Kennesaw State where he caught five passes for 115 yards. He also had multiple catches in seven of the 12 games that he appeared. Barry was eventually named All-Ohio Valley Conference First Team on offense and the HERO Sports Sophomore All-American Team in 2018.

In the current 2019-2020 season, Trae Barry has only continued to show out on the field. In just five matchups of the season, Barry has already recorded 330 yards and a touchdown for the Gamecocks. He was able to beat his career high in receiving yards in Jax State’s second game of the season against the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, bringing in a whopping 151 yards.

Despite Barry’s absence, Head Coach John Grass is confident that the team will still be able to do well in this Saturday’s game against Eastern Illinois.

 “[Eastern Illinois] hasn’t won a game, but they have been in every game this season,” said Grass. “They are a well-coached team and they are adjusting to a new coach and new system and all that takes a part of where they are at as a football team. They are very capable of beating you if you play like we played at Austin Peay. We will stay the same as far as physical practices. It is more about attention to detail and the physicality part of the practice. We will practice the same way we did last week and you have to win the line of scrimmage.”

The Gamecocks will travel to Charleston, Illinois this Saturday, Oct. 12, and will take on the  Eastern Illinois University Panthers at 12 p.m. To keep up with the action, fans can listen to the game on WLJS 91.9 FM for a live play-by-play of the game. Fans can also stream the game on the ESPN+ app.

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