March 12, 2012 by David Gillaspie
The Barton Way (also seen on oregonsportsnews.com and oregonlive.com)
What is the most sought after quality in college sports recruiting?
What do you call making important decisions without all the available information?
You trust you’ve heard the best advice, the best pitches, but doubt lingers.
Trust is easy to say, hard to believe in, even harder to earn. As the whirlwinds of attention sweep around your family, you hear and see more than you expected. You feel pulled in every direction. You need a base of trust for an anchor.
Parents and athletes alike want an environment grounded in trust, the sort that comes from hard experience. They want direction from one who knows the way from walking in the footsteps. We all leave that trail. It tells who we are, not who we say we are.
You need trust the most when someone explains things you don’t understand to those you hold most dear. When your kids start getting mail with return addresses like University of Oregon and Tennessee, you need someone who knows the drill.
Who knows better than Taylor Barton of Beaverton? Living in the same news region during his high school years made him hard to miss. Throw fifty six touchdowns your senior year of high school and you’d be hard to miss, too. This was a guy headed for the fast track, the next Neil Lomax. He made all the right moves.
Choosing the University of Colorado and head coach Rick Neuheisel seemed a quarterback’s dream, an offensive lab with the man who coached Troy Aikman. It was football decision, a choice based on trust.
If trust is what you see in Taylor Barton, he’s earned it the hardest of ways.
How far does trust go? A better question is how far do you expect it to go. Through the services Barton provides athletes ready to play at the next level, you can expect the truth.
Who do you want explaining the recruiting process to you and your son? You want someone who ‘s been recruited by big schools who sent their best guys.
Who do you want explaining how situations don’t always work out the way promised? How about a kid who went from golden-boy to 4th string after a coaching change.
Who do you want telling your kid to stay in the game when he feels like quitting? Taylor Barton had his chances to quit. If he didn’t ask himself why he didn’t quit, be sure others did. All he did was transfer as an after-thought at a D-1 school to a JC and go Cam Newton before Cam Newton. One national championship and MVP award later he was ready for the big time again.
Who do you want encouraging your kid to stick it out? How about the young man who knows what sticking it out means with his life on the line.
You need someone who understands the roots of teamwork the way the Barton family did when they rallied around their stricken son. It was greater than football, but sports still helped. He remembered his coach saying, “Tough times don’t last; tough people do.” Barton toughed it out and pulled through.
Sports dreams never die. If they did, no one would sit in the stands on Friday nights living a football dream with the players on the field. Taylor Barton had a football dream. He chased it hard from the beginning. It ran from Oregon to Colorado, to California, to Washington, and back to Oregon.
There are few questions he hasn’t either heard, or asked himself, along the way. Is it better to stay in-state? Is it fair for a coach to ask you to change positions? What happens when you transfer to another school? Will all my credits transfer with me? How do I deal with a difficult coach in a difficult situation?
No one expects you to hand your son over to a school and walk away. You want your player to understand the bigger picture and where they are at any given time. Taylor Barton knows that picture. He’s been in it twice.
What do you hope for when those you care most about ask questions you can’t answer? You hope Taylor Barton, or someone with Barton-like experience, is still around.