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Aztecs in the NFL: Luq Barcoo

The Aztecs defensive playmaker will fly across the country to start his NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

San Diego State cornerback Luq Barcoo celebrates with cornerback Darren Hall during the fourth quarter after an interception against Fresno State. Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Unlike Keith Ismael in an article before him, Barcoo was not selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. His stellar production at the college level was overlooked but it was enough to garner the attention of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Let’s examine what the former Aztec can provide his new team on the opposite side of the country!

Barcoo went to Castle Park High School in El Cajon, California, ending his senior season as a two-star recruit according to 247Sports. While at CPHS, he spent time on both sides of the football field. Over his final two seasons, he carried the ball 57 times for 472 yards and 6 touchdowns while also catching 71 passes for 1,314 yards and 15 touchdowns (per MaxPreps). Defensively, he racked up 74 total tackles, 5 interceptions, and 9 pass breakups.

Despite his impressive numbers, he received zero scholarship offers upon the conclusion of his final season, forcing him to either walk-on or take the junior college route. In the end, Barcoo chose the latter, enrolling in his local JUCO. In his freshman year at Grossmont Community College, his coaches decided to keep him on the defensive side of the ball. He was able to generate 21 total tackles, 2 interceptions, and 4 pass breakups. The very next season, the former Griffins defensive back was converted into a receiver. He netted 35 receptions for 767 yards and 7 touchdowns according to the school’s website. Here is his impressive highlight reel from his time spent at Grossmont:

With not having a designated position and still being slightly undersized, Barcoo was once again an unheralded prospect. However, his versatility and playmaking ability caught the eye of Rocky Long and San Diego State who brought him onto the roster for the 2018 season. He spent his junior season as a rotational defensive back, making zero starts. Though he did not start any games in his first year as a D1 football player, the former Griffin received a significant amount of playing time.

He recorded an interception, four PBUs, and 20 tackles in his first season with the Aztecs. On the negative side of things, Barcoo missed multiple tackles during the year and although he did not allow many passes into his coverage, the few he did went for an average of 13.3 yards per reception (via PFF).

After just one season under the Aztecs coaching staff and finally having a defined position and role, Barcoo was ready to take the nation by storm. As a true senior, the SDSU alum proved just how dominant he can be in coverage by grabbing 9 interceptions (T-1st), 14 PBUs (3rd), and allowed a passer rating of just 34.0 (7th), all of which were top-10 numbers in the country among cornerbacks. Just to help demonstrate his talent further, if a quarterback were to throw the ball into the ground every single play, he would finish a game with a passer rating of 39.6. Meaning QBs that targeted him in coverage should have just thrown the ball away.

Highlights are always fun to watch, but Barcoo’s senior season is one of the best out there:

From high school, to community college, to San Diego State, Barcoo has shown time and time again that he is a playmaker and knows how to get the football into his own hands. He has NFL-caliber height at 6 feet one inch but his weight is concerning at just 175 pounds. His slight frame and level of competition are likely the only things that dropped him off team’s boards as his play on the field speaks for itself. All it takes is one team to give him a chance and the Jaguars were the first to give him a call.

The Southern Florida franchise is currently rebuilding and looked to add talent all over their roster this offseason. By drafting three CBs in this year’s draft, C.J. Henderson in the first, Josiah Scott in the fourth, and Chris Claybrooks in the seventh, they effectively revamped the position. Barcoo was signed as a UDFA shortly after, joining the other three rookies in the team’s cornerback room. He may not have been drafted but he definitely has the physical tools and instincts to be a darkhorse in Jacksonville’s secondary next season.

Even if he does not stick to the final roster, he will be a prime candidate for their practice team, if he is not signed to another team’s 53-man squad. His skill is undeniable and should afford him the opportunity to see the football field sooner rather than later. Luq Barcoo played himself into SDSU’s record books in 2019 but can he make himself a household name in the NFL? Only time will tell but one thing is for certain, he will have the support from San Diego State and their fans from the opposite side of the nation!


Will Luq Barcoo make the Jaguars 53-man roster?

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  • 55%
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  • 38%
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