N.D. Shrine Football Game: Carrington cranks out another
As a 6-foot-6, 270-pound football player from Carrington, N.D., Devin Barton naturally was going to hear the comparisons to Jim Kleinsasser. Then, like Kleinsasser, he committed to play college football at UND. He also led Carrington High School ...
As a 6-foot-6, 270-pound football player from Carrington, N.D., Devin Barton naturally was going to hear the comparisons to Jim Kleinsasser.
Then, like Kleinsasser, he committed to play college football at UND. He also led Carrington High School to a North Dakota state Class B basketball title as a senior just as Kleinsasser had done for the Cardinals in 1995.
Even UND football coach Chris Mussman connected the dots when asked about Barton at the team's signing day press conference in February.
"We had pretty good luck the last time we got a big kid from Carrington," Mussman said.
But at the North Dakota Shrine Bowl all-star football practice at Memorial Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, Barton said he didn't follow Kleinsasser's Sioux career too closely.
And clearly the comparisons to a former college All-American and current 11-year NFL veteran are unfair.
But Carrington coach Marty Hochhalter, who has coached the Cardinals for 19 years, said Barton has plenty of skills to be successful with the Sioux.
"That's just not fair for anybody," Hochhalter said of a Kleinsasser comparison. "But Devin has good feet and great size. He's very coachable and works hard."
Barton was a three-year starter for the Cardinals.
"Devin has always had very good mobility," Hochhalter said. "He's projected as a tackle in college because of his height and wing span. He's a great fit to protect the (quarterback's) back side."
Although comparisons to Kleinsasser are unrealistic, Hochhalter was willing to associate Barton's footwork with another former Carrington big man.
Zach Harrington was a three-year starter and all-conference center at North Dakota State.
"Zach was more of a pulling lineman than Devin, but where they do compare is they both have good feet," Hochhalter said. "They move well."
Barton, who said he grew up as a Sioux fan, knows there is still plenty of work to be done in order to form a successful college career.
"I've got to get a lot bigger and a lot quicker," said Barton, whose 11-man West team is preparing to take on the East squad in Saturday's Shrine Bowl at the Fargodome.
Barton, who also played on Team North Dakota which beat Team Montana in the MonDak Bowl last month, said he'll arrive at UND the first week of August.
"I'm anxious," Barton said. "I don't know what to expect. It's something new."
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When: Saturday, 4 p.m. 11-man game, 7 p.m. 9-man game.