|Born:||January 7, 1980|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||234 lb (106 kg)|
|High school:||Pittsburgh (PA) Peabody|
|NFL Draft:||2001 / Round: 3 / Pick: 80|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Barlow was born and raised in Pittsburgh. He played football at Peabody High School in Pittsburgh. During his senior year, Barlow had 3.5 sacks, 33 tackles, and 1 interception. He led his team as the star player to the City League Championship three times.
During his high school career, Barlow was a two-time All-City choice, a Post Gazette City League Player of the Year, a member of the Post Gazette Fabulous 22, and also played in the prestigious Big 33 Classic Game. He has been compared to NFL hall of famer Curtis Martin during his high school career. During his senior season, he verbally committed to the University of Pittsburgh.
Barlow was inducted into the Pittsburgh City League High School Hall of Fame in 2017.
Receiving a full scholarship, Barlow attended the University of Pittsburgh where he played four years prior to entering the NFL draft. While there he rushed 486 times for 2,324 yards (4.78 yards per rush) and 20 touchdowns.
Barlow's junior year, he was named to the second team All Big East after rushing for 630 yards and 6 touchdowns. This was also the final year that Pitt played in Pitt Stadium. Barlow scored the final touchdown in the stadium at 7:06PM, just minutes before a record crowd of 60,190 people rushed the field and torn down the goal posts.
On November 27, 2000, Barlow was named Big East Player of the Week after a career-high 272 yard and 4 touchdown performance against West Virginia on November 24, 2000. This was the most rushing yards against the Mountaineers since Syracuse's Larry Csonka rushed for 216 yards in 1965. He left school, being ranked 11th on the school's career scoring list with 144 points and also had a total of three 200 yard games.
In 2010, Barlow was ranked top 10 in the Big East in multiple categories including rushing attempts (4th with 197), rushing yards (3rd with 1,053), rushing yards per attempt (7th with 5.3), rushing touchdowns (7th with 8), plays from scrimmage (3rd with 210), yards from scrimmage (4th with 1,187), touchdowns from scrimmage (8th with 9), and overall touchdowns (9th with 9).
Barlow was named in the list of the greatest running backs in the University of Pittsburgh's history. He was also listed by ESPN sports analyst Mel Kiper Jr. to be one of the top running backs available for the National Football League Draft. He finished 7th on their list for career rushing yards with 2,234.
Barlow was drafted in the 3rd round (80th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers and signed a $3.8 million three year contact. Denver Head Coach Mike Shanahan congratulated the 49ers for picking "the best back in the draft." He played a total of six seasons in the NFL including five with San Francisco. In 2002, he was second in the NFC averaging 4.7 yards per carry. His best year was in 2003 with the 49ers when he rushed for 1,024 yards despite only starting 9 games. For his career, he gained a total of 3,984 yards rushing and 30 rushing touchdowns.
Barlow started his first professional game in the NFL on December 7, 2003 against the Arizona Cardinals. This was after 49er starting running back Garrison Hearst was injured during the third quarter of a game against the Baltimore Ravens the week prior. The 49ers won the game 50-14 with Barlow rushing for 154 yards and a touchdown. Although he only started nine games, he finished the 2003 season leading the 49ers in rushing with 1,024 yards. He also scored 6 touchdowns and averaged 5.1 yards per carry.
After a breakout 2003 season behind a run blocking line in which Barlow had a 5.1 yard per carry average and 1024 yards, Barlow became a restricted free agent. During that period, he was the number one running back talent available for a contract. The 49ers gave him the starting job by releasing Garrison Hearst and signing him to a long term deal for five years and $28 million. The terms included $20 million, of a 8 million signing bonus fully guaranteed. Following this extension, the 49ers cut, traded, or released 19 of the 22 starting players including hall of famer Terrell Owens and Pro Bowl quarterback Jeff Garcia, placing Barlow in a position to carry the team primarily on his own. Barlow suffered a knee injury that spanned for multiple games, crippling his play.
The 2005 season seemed to mark a rebound in his running game. His play was severely affected when he received a knee injury, cutting his season short. He had 420 yards on 102 carries for a 4.0 average through 7 games and finished the season with 581 yards on 176 carries for 3.3 yards per carry.
Barlow finished his career with the 49ers appearing in 72 games, 30 of which he started. He rushed for 3,614 yards and 24 touchdowns on 891 carries. He also added 1,143 yards on 137 catches.
Looking to replace Curtis Martin, who at the time suffered a serious knee injury, the New York Jets acquired Barlow from the 49ers on August 20, 2006 in exchange for their fourth round draft pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. He was given an honorable mention by Bleacher Report as one of the best trades in the New York Jets' history. As part of the deal, the Jets assumed the remainder of his contract which had three seasons remaining at base salaries of $2.5 million (2006), $3.25 million (2007) and $4 million (2008).
Barlow appeared in twelve games for the Jets but only started three, running for 370 yards and scoring 6 touchdowns. Due to another knee injury, Barlow was placed on injury reserve and was subsequently released on February 21, 2007.
On May 4, 2007, Barlow met with the Pittsburgh Steelers. This was after the Steelers failed to draft a running back during the 2007 NFL Draft. Barlow signed a one-year contract with the Steelers on May 10, 2007. He was expected to share runningback duties with starter Willie Parker. Barlow was released on August 27 due to numerous knee surgeries that affected his game.
Barlow was a criminal justice major with a minor in business while attending college at Pitt. While a member of the 49ers, Barlow would make routine visits to San Quentin State Prison to visit inmates. He visit and talk with the inmates to give them encouragement after they are released. Barlow also spent time reading with kids at different schools in the San Francisco area and also visited kids at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.
Barlow has been a long-time advocate on behalf of children's cancer charities. He has rallied with former San Francisco mayor, Lieutenant Governor, and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom at charities to combat breast cancer. In 2012, Barlow released a statement in support of new cancer treatments including a finding that folic acid playing a significant role in reducing the rates of two childhood cancers.
|2001||San Francisco 49ers||15||0||125||512||4.1||25||4||22||247||11.2||61T||1|
|2002||San Francisco 49ers||14||0||145||675||4.7²||35||4||14||136||9.7||29||1|
|2003||San Francisco 49ers||16||4||201||1,024||5.1||78T||6||35||307||8.8||48||1|
|2004||San Francisco 49ers||15||14||244||822||3.4||60||7||35||212||6.1||15||0|
|2005||San Francisco 49ers||12||12||176||581||3.3||29||3||31||241||7.8||24||0|
|2006||New York Jets||12||3||131||370||2.8||12||6||7||21||3.0||8||0|