Despite Brent Barber's 6-foot-1, 220-pound frame, Central Crossing High School football coach Trevor White said his senior defensive end is easy to overlook in certain situations.

"He is not a guy who sticks out in a crowd," White said. "He never gets too down and too up. You never have to worry about Brent not doing his job.

"I've seen a lot of growth. You don't notice Brent Barber right off the bat. You notice him when he is out (on the field) playing well, when he has his pads on making plays."

A three-year starter at defensive end, Barber has 35 tackles, including eight for loss and five sacks, as well as four pass breakups and seven quarterback pressures as the Comets are 4-4 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Central Division entering a Friday, Oct. 19, game at Upper Arlington.

Barber made varsity as a freshman in 2015, playing on special teams as the Comets made the playoffs for the second consecutive season. That team was led by quarterback Deric Williamson and wide receiver/running back Troy Speakman, players Barber called his role models.

Both now play at Mount St. Joseph University.

"I remember there were guys I looked up to when I was younger, like Deric and Troy. I want to be like they used to be in terms of getting after it and setting a better example for the younger guys behind me," Barber said. "I've been making more plays and being more aggressive. I've just worked hard. I haven't been going at it halfway. I think I have a better work ethic now."

Barber said his best performance came in a 38-14 win over Grove City on Sept. 6. He made a season-high five tackles, most of which came in the first quarter to help set the tone as the Comets built an early 21-0 lead.

"I felt like I just came after it and made some huge plays," Barber said. "I try to be steady and do my part."

According to White, Barber's personality has continued to emerge the last two seasons.

"He's a little more open, not as closed off to other people. I've seen some sense of humor come out," White said. "He has a lot of pride in his craft. He has worked hard to get better.

"He's a big guy. Physically, he stands out. He is intense, but you have to look for it. You don't see those emotions until you get close to him. Brent hates to lose. He is a competitor to the core."

According to Barber, Heidelberg and Wilmington have expressed interest in Barber.

Central Crossing climbed back to .500 with a 31-20 home win over Westland on Oct. 12. Quarterback Kameron Peck accounted for three touchdowns, completing six of 19 passes for 127 yards and two scores and rushing for another.

Running back Jahaan Upchurch ran for 115 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, and Pierre France added 100 yards on 22 carries to become the program's all-time leading rusher, surpassing 2016 graduate Colter Bass.

France now has 1,801 career yards and 16 touchdowns on 389 carries.

The Comets are 2-7 all-time against UA, including a win by forfeit last year because the Golden Bears used an ineligible player in what had been a 24-19 victory on the field.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave