Virginia Tech Head Coach Justin Fuente Excited About Amare Barno's Potential at Defensive End
Virginia Tech redshirt-junior Amare Barno is making the transition from linebacker to defensive end this fall, head coach Justin Fuente announced on Friday.
Barno, who has been a player that several members of the coaching staff have raved about for quite some time, is making the transition to defensive end after being the odd man out of a stacked linebacking corps on the Virginia Tech defense.
Barno was approached by the coaching staff regarding the potential position change, and he was eager to take on the new challenge. Although he has only participated in a handful of practices at defensive end for the Hokies, Fuente is excited about Barno's potential as an edge rusher.
"Even more than the needed depth, it was more like we have this great kid that works his tail off and everybody loves, and we want to see him have a chance for success, and we think that a position move is going to give him the best chance to have success," Fuente said.
"We talked to him about it, and he was incredible. You know, Divine Deablo has switched positions. Caleb Farley has switched positions. For Amare, I thought it was fantastic how he went about it. He listened, he called home, and he came to visit with me about it. He trusted us, trusted the process, and has gone down there with a great attitude. I said last night at a team meeting that I think he's gotten better every period of practice, not just every practice. We'll see where that leads. I don't want to inflate it too much, but it's been really cool to see how he's handled it and processed it and then jumped in the middle and tried his best to make it work," Fuente continued.
At 6'6", 235 lbs., Barno provides an intriguing blend of size and speed to the defensive end position, which is searching for another proven playmaker following the news that TyJuan Garbutt may not suit up this fall for the Hokies.
Incoming graduate transfer Justus Reed figures to start at one defensive end spot, while Emmanuel Belmar should play a sizable role at the other end spot with Garbutt out of the lineup.
If Barno continues to prove that he can handle the position change, he figures to be a substantial role player at defensive end along with Mario Kendricks, Jaylen Griffin, and others.
Time will tell just how much Barno can take on, and in turn, how big of a difference maker he can be on Virginia Tech's defensive line this fall.