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All They Can Do Now Is Watch, Wait : Pat Barnes: Former Trabuco Hills quarterback is waiting in the wings at Cal, looking for his moment of fame.

O.C. AIR: Quarterbacks from Orange County control the skies in the Pac 10; One in a series

September 01, 1994|CHRIS FOSTER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Bragging rights in the Barnes family still belong to brother John. Pat Barnes, sophomore quarterback at California, knows this and accepts it.

But wait. Just wait.

John Barnes, 5 1/2 years older than Pat, was not just another UCLA quarterback to beat USC. He's a Bruin legend.

Barnes, a walk-on at UCLA, rallied the Bruins from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Trojans, 38-37, in 1992. He threw for 385 yards, 204 in the final quarter, and three touchdowns.

"John keeps telling me they have renamed Brentwood, 'Barnes-wood,' " Pat Barnes said. "I let him go on with that, for now."

Yeah, time is on Pat's side.

A lot was expected from Barnes when he came out of Trabuco Hills. That hasn't changed. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Barnes is merely biding his time and waiting his chance.

"I think it's tough when you have the profile of Pat Barnes," Cal Coach Keith Gilbertson said. "He was a big kid with a big arm in high school. Then he has to sit here and wait. But I think the kid is going to do some great things when it's his turn."

It's a difficult burden. One heavier than that placed on John, who meandered through programs at Western Oregon, where they wanted him to drop playing quarterback, to UC Santa Barbara, where they wanted to drop playing football, before becoming a one-game sensation at UCLA.

His brother, on the other hand, was considered one of the top high school quarterbacks in the nation in 1992. Barnes threw for 6,182 yards during his career (1990-93), fourth best in county history.

Everyone wanted him. Heck, he even turned down Notre Dame to go to Cal. Many believed it was a only four-year training stop on the way to a professional career.

"I think it's more difficult on Pat," John Barnes said. "The high expectations are on him. I had everything to gain and nothing to lose. It's the flip side with Pat. But he likes a challenge."

One was given to him last season.

Barnes is the Bears' No. 2 quarterback, behind senior Dave Barr--considered by some scouts as the top quarterback in the Pac-10.

But Barnes' season can go either way. He will probably redshirt, leaving three full seasons as a starter. But he's only a torn ligament from being in the game.

"Ultimately, I would like to redshirt, but that depends on Dave Barr's health," Barnes said.

That little twist of fate, or rather a shoulder separation, has happened before.

Barnes was ready to redshirt last season, then Barr went down with a shoulder injury. Kerry McGonigal, the No. 2 quarterback, followed him onto the disabled list with a knee injury.

A week before playing Arizona State, the Bears were left with only one healthy quarterback.

"It was either play Pat or have our fullback take the snap," Gilbertson said. "They were going to make us play with 11 people."

So Barnes was forced to burn his freshman season and got singed in the process.

"I really wanted to complete the first pass I threw," Barnes said. "I rolled out and got completely drilled. I over threw the receiver."

It was that kind of day. Barnes dodged and ducked, but could not move the team. He completed only 10 of 33 passes for 125 yards and was intercepted three times.

His highlight?

"My claim to fame is I avoided (All-Pac-10 defensive tackle) Shante Carver," Barnes said. "I juked him twice and he fell."

But mostly, it was Barnes doing the tumbling.

Still, if there are any scars left from the Arizona State game, they don't show. Barnes has improved, more than Gilbertson could have hoped.

"A year ago, you didn't always know just who Pat was throwing to," Gilbertson said. "He had a great arm and would just stand back there and fire the ball. He's now making good decisions."

Said Barnes: "The Arizona State game was a learning experience. I really had tunnel vision in the first half. I was getting as little gun-shy, looking at the rush instead of looking down field."

It was a far cry from his brother's performance.

"Yeah, well, it was my last game, that was Pat's first," John Barnes said.

John Barnes had played sparingly for the Bruins and only because of injuries. Still he came on and turned in a legendary performance.

Pat Barnes was there, enjoying the moment. It was a family celebration. He even had to talk his mother, Colleen, down from the hood of the family car afterward.

"She was dancing up there," Barnes said. "But it was great to see my brother get the success he deserved. I just have to take his advice and take my shot when my turn comes."

Pat Barnes

California

Hgt.: 6-4 Wgt.: 200

Year: Sophomore

College career statistics: 10 of 33 (30.3%) for 125 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions.

California's record with Barnes at quarterback: 0-1

High-school highlights: Threw for 6,182 yards during his three-year career at Trabuco Hills. He was rated as the fourth-best quarterback in the nation one magazine and sixth by another . . . He was named second-team All--Orange County as a senior, after passing for 2,368 yards and 24 touchdowns . . . He was named second-team all-county as a junior after passing for 2,892 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Miscellaneous: He was also a three-year starter on the Trabuco Hills' basketball team . . . Brother John passed for 385 yards and three touchdowns in leading UCLA to a 38-37 come-from-behind victory over USC . . . He is a business major.

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