Clichéd though it may sound, Kevan Barlow is a man who knows what it means to act like a champion. He exemplifies it on the field and off. We don’t mean just in the most literal sense, either, of winning games or earning rings. Surely, he’ll continue racking up victories like that for the remainder of his career. No, what we mean here is that he pours his heart and his soul into everything he does.
What higher praise could we give to a pro athlete or to any human being?
Granted, this is one of the oldest athletic clichés there is. But it resonates with this man. Read on to learn more about his talent, his career, his background, and where his heart lies. Learn what inspires him—not just on the football field, but in his life.
At a Glance
We might begin with a word or two about the man’s career to date. He’s a pro running back, and one of the best-known talents in the NFL. For a good while, he was a proud member of the San Francisco 49ers family. In more recent years, he’s worn the colors of the New York Jets.
Here are a few more facts from his basic biography:
- Kevan was born in January of 1979, in Pittsburgh, PA.
- He was educated in Pittsburgh, as well, including college. His undergraduate studies were in the field of Criminal Justice. This is something he still holds a passion for—but more on that later.
- Our man is 6’1’’, and weighs in at 238 pounds.
That’s Kevan’s personal bio—but what of his career? Here are a few of his career highlights to date:
- In 2004, he signed a five-year contract with the 49ers. He proudly played in California for that time, and came to think of it as home. His involvement in the Bay Area community remains strong.
- In 2003, he posted 1,024 yards rushing, and 307 receiving yards. Even more impressive than these raw numbers is the fact that he started in so few games. Just four, in fact!
- He generated 1,187 yards rushing on 270 carries, all within his first two years as an NFL player.
- In the 2001 draft, he was selected in the third round. He was pick no. 80, in total.
And that is just the man’s NFL career. As a college ball player, his highlights were every bit as impressive. Here are a few stats from his University of Pittsburgh days:
- He gained 2,234 yards, with 20 touchdowns, on 486 carries, throughout his college ball career.
- In the school’s history, he was only the ninth player to rush for more than 2,000 yards. Even more impressive? He did it with only fifteen starts!
- With 144 points, he ranks at #11 on the school’s career scoring list.
- He was a 2nd Team All-Big East Selection in 1999.
The bottom line is that the guy can flat-out play. As these stats make clear, he makes huge contributions, even when his time on the field is limited. The Sporting News summarized his achievements in this way: “[Kevan Barlow] is the real deal, a big-time pounder as well as a versatile threat on the backfield.”
Those are some of his gridiron highlights—but remember what we said from the get-go. His athletic achievements are, indeed, impressive. But so, too, are his achievements off the field. Read on to learn about some of the causes and organizations he supports.
One of the biggest forms of outreach he does is prison outreach. This is an important kind of community service that often goes undervalued. We do not always think of prisoners when we think of the neediest members of our society. Yet, these men and women seeking rehabilitation need our support, and they need inspiration.
Kevan seeks to give them exactly that—inspiration. He has long participated in visitations and other kinds of outreach at San Quentin. This famous prison provides a terrific venue for Kevan’s servant’s heart. He says he likes to visit with the men there to inspire them—to ensure they won’t ever want to go back in there again!
But this prison outreach is just one area in which he is passionate. Read on for a few more.
Kevan Barlow: All Heart
The NFL is filled with men who are passionate for community service. Indeed, “giving back” is one of the most common catchphrases among pro athletes, movie stars, and celebrities. But even in this environment, Barlow has a reputation for true zeal for service.
His charitable work, over the years, has proven significant. Many of the organizations he supports are kid-oriented organizations. Read on to learn about a couple of specific ones.
There are plenty of worthy organizations to support—many that we take for granted. Indeed, Kevan knows as well as anyone that worthy causes are found in one’s own backyard. Case in point: His ongoing support of the YMCA.
Specifically, he has fundraised, over the years, for the YMCA Summer Day Camp. This kids’ activity program is a tremendous service to communities nationwide. This athlete is proud to support it—but it’s not the only example of his heart for kids.
Kids with Cancer
He has also done much to support the work done on behalf of kids with cancer. And it’s not just the kids who he serves. It is also their families. A great example of this is his ongoing support of Camp Okizu. This organization provides a residential camp experience for kids with cancer—giving them support, a little fun, and something resembling a normal childhood experience.
And the examples of his outreach to kids just keeps going—whether it was his work with the 49ers Kids Club, or something else entirely.
Hard at Work, Hard at Play
The bottom line is that Kevan Barlow is a tough guy—both on the field and off. He’s resolute in his devotion to the game, and to community service. That’s what makes Kevan Barlow one of the unsung heroes of the NFL. And it’s what makes athlete Kevan Barlow someone who is, ultimately, worthy of admiration.