Heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, former Tennessee DE Derek Barnett was one of the most-discussed players.
No, the ex-Volunteer, who broke Reggie White’s school sack record, didn’t have the measurables No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett had, but his game tape spoke for itself.
The Philadelphia Eagles selected him with the No. 14 overall pick and now he’s eager to prove that his work ethic will separate him from other rookies.
Where does Barnett get that desire to work hard from? According to Philly.com, it comes from his mother, Christine, who Barnett said did whatever it took to give him the best life possible growing up:
“Single parent, multiple jobs,” Barnett said. “At a young age, I saw how hard she worked. That instilled in me a work ethic. I felt I need to match her — or do better.”
As he tries to earn playing time for himself this fall, Barnett said he’ll keep letting his play on the field do the talking for him:
“My mom … always told me, ‘Stay humble and put your head down and just work,’” Barnett said. “I think I get that attitude from her.”
The Eagles’ first preseason game is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 10, against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Barnett should see plenty of action during that game.