Harlon Barnett was a outstanding hard hitting defensive back who served as a team captain for the Michigan State Spartans back in the late 1980s. At 5-11, 180 he was a bit undersized to play safety but converted to free safety his senior season and earned All American Honors recording 69 tackles, 3 picks, and 3 fumble recoveries.
The Browns would take a stab at their home state product, and nab Harlon in the 4th round of the 1990 draft. After missing the majority of his rookie season with a back injury, Barnett would return to the line up in 1991 as the team would reshuffle its secondary after the departure of Felix Wright to Minnesota and the drafting of Eric Turner. As injuries would continue to plague the Browns beleaguered secondary, Barnett would start 10 games, making a modest 60 tackles and 1 sack that season. After a lackluster 1992, Harlon would sign with the New England Patriots and play for them 2 seasons making 4 interceptions. In 1995 he’d head over to Minnesota and retire after the 1996 season. Barnett is an astute student of the game and headed into coaching with stops at LSU and Cincinnati. He is currently the defensive backs coach of Michigan State where I got his autograph on these 3 cards in a short 8 days.
Great cards here of Harlon, who was more of a role player and special teams star for the teams he was on. Action Packed once again had a stellar scouting team in place, and had a rookie card out before his rookie season really got underway. This Topps 1992 card was when they finally got the message that action shots were important to collectors. It’s a good shot of Harlon as well, and along with the GameDay cards, these represented the 3 cards I had in my collection of the former MSU star.
G/Gs 99/54 Tac 264 Sac 2.0 Fum 3 Int 4 Yds 91 Avg 22.7 Td 0 Lg 40
Barnett makes a pick against the ‘Canes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB2sKwemGUM
Anthony Johnson takes it on the nose from Harlon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w53R0bikjjw&feature=related