Walk-on Barker has been winning target for Gophers

Published On: Sep 18 2012 04:46:36 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 18 2012 04:44:24 PM CDT
Minnesota Golden Gophers

A.J. Barker is third in the Big Ten with 231 yards receiving through three games. He's tied for third in the league with four touchdowns.

His next accomplishment will be getting a scholarship.

With the departure of Da'Jon McKnight, who finished in the top 10 in the conference in yards receiving each of the last two years, the Gophers had an opening for a go-to guy. And Barker has emerged from the crowded group.

Invited to walk on in 2009 by then-coach Tim Brewster's staff, Barker came into the season with only one career catch. He says the experience allowed the chip on his shoulder "to continue to grow."

Minnesota (3-0) hosts Syracuse on Saturday to close the nonconference portion of the season.