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Barker signs at Mt. St. Joseph

The big man picked a small place.

At 6-foot, 283-pounds, “Tractor” Taylor Barker is a massive sight on an offensive line. He’ll take his size and talent to a program that is the size of his liking after he signed a letter-of-intent to play for the Mount St. Joseph Lions’ football program.

Barker said Mt. St. Joseph was just the place for him after visiting the small Cincinnati-area campus.

“It’s a small place which I like and all the coaches were enthusiastic. Everyone is pumped up for football just like here,” said Barker.

While Barker played center for Ironton, he can play guard and would like to play that position for the Lions.

“I want to play guard but they are thinking of me more as a center right now,” said Barker. “Their recruiting coach told me there was only one other player ahead of me, so I have a chance to play early. They want me around 300 pounds, but I don’t want to play that big. I feel quicker at a lighter weight. I just feel better.”

Barker was a three-year letterman who started at center for the Fighting Tigers who were playoff qualifiers the past two seasons including a Division IV regional runner-up this past season when Ironton posted a 10-3 record.

The loss in the regional title game was 20-14 in overtime.

Barker said his experience with Ironton and head coach Bob Lutz made a difference in his career.

“I feel really prepared to play at the next level after playing for coach Lutz. He had an intense program and their program is similar. I don’t know if they have anything like our physical fitness. I don’t think anything was as hard as that,” said Barker with a grin.

Lutz said Barker is a good fit for Mt. St. Joseph.

“He’s a hard worker and he’ll have a chance to play,” said Lutz. “He did a good job for us. He’s got the size and he’s a strong kid. He likes the game and he’ll do whatever you ask him to do.”

Barker plans to major in nursing.