Virginia Tech fans knew Amare Barno was fast. The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Barno came to Blacksburg in 2019 from Butler Community College in Kansas. Then-defensive coordinator Bud Foster envisioned Barno in a role similar to former Hokie and current Buffalo Bill, Tremaine Edmunds.
Barno played in three games in 2019. He moved to defensive end in 2020 and began to show his true potential. Barno led all Power Five players with 16 tackles for loss, which was also No. 3 in the entire FBS. He also finished with 43 tackles and 6.5 sacks.
In 2021, Barno didn’t quite put up the same numbers, finishing with 35 tackles, 5.5 for loss and 3.5 sacks. He was named third-team All-ACC.
While Barno’s final season in Blacksburg didn’t go as he envisioned, he still flashed big-time potential with his elite combination of size and speed. The NFL was intrigued by Barno and he earned an invite to the prestigious Reese’s Senior Bowl. He was also one of six Hokies to earn an invitation to the NFL combine.
After offensive players dominated the first two days of the combine, it was a chance for the defenders to shine Saturday. And perhaps no player shined the way Barno did, as he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds — at 6-foot-6, 245 pounds. It was the fastest time by an edge defender since 2003.
Perhaps a more impressive number for Barno was he recorded a 10-yard split of 1.54 seconds, which is insane.
Barno is going to be selected higher in the NFL draft than a simple look at his college stats would suggest. Barno can play multiple roles at the next level and his testing numbers will have NFL evaluators scrambling for game tape to see if those test results match what they see on the field.