No player in the nation had more interceptions than Luq Barcoo in 2019. But in the leadup to the NFL Draft, the Aztec cornerback once again found himself getting overlooked.
“I've kind of been in this position where I've had to kind of take the under the radar route.”
He's faced adversity in sports and in life - the Castle Park grad grew up without a father. He found his place on the football field, but didn't have the opportunities he'd hoped for out of high school. His path to San Diego State required a two year stop at Grossmont College.
“It's just something that I'm used to,” Barcoo said. “It's nothing new to me at all.”
Despite his nine interception senior season with the Aztecs, getting the attention of NFL teams has taken some extra effort. Barcoo wasn't invited to the NFL Combine, and the Aztecs weren't able to hold a Pro Day because of the coronavirus.
So, Barcoo held his own.
With the help of his agent and trainers, Barcoo went through the standard measurements and drills. Many of the results he posted were comparable with top performers from the combine. NFL personnel took notice, and Barcoo has now heard from most of the league.
“Teams have been hitting me up and letting me know that they're impressed with the numbers that I put up,” Barcoo said. “(I’ve) definitely been getting a lot of good feedback, and I'm excited to see what team I land on.”
The measurables are important, but for a player who won't have an easy path to NFL snaps, the intangibles he's developed through the years could be even more critical.
“I have already faced adversity and I understand that when I get to the next level I'm definitely gonna face a lot more adversity. Just them knowing that I'm able to adjust to that, and overcome that, and know how to cope and deal with that is a huge plus for me, and something that separates me from a lot of guys.”
The San Diego State product has been looking forward to this week for a long time.
“It's crazy because these are the moments and opportunities that I've been waiting for my whole life. It's something I've literally, when I've blown out my candles on my birthday that I wish for.”
It hasn't gone as smoothly as he probably imagined, but thanks to the hurdles he's cleared - Barcoo is prepared to deal with whatever happens during the draft.
“I'm definitely gonna end up on a team regardless of the situation, regardless if that's undrafted. But like I said, if I do get drafted I'm gonna be definitely excited about it. If not, I'm gonna continue to work and continue to prove myself.”