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Kevan Courtney Barlow (born January 7, 1980) is a former American football running back. Barlow was born and raised in Pittsburgh where he played high school football for Peabody High School.[1]

Kevan Barlow
No. 32
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1980-01-07) January 7, 1980 (age 39)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:234 lb (106 kg)
Career information
High school:Pittsburgh (PA) Peabody
NFL Draft:2001 / Round: 3 / Pick: 80
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:3,984
Rushing average:4.2
Rushing touchdowns:30
Receiving yards:1,164
Receiving touchdowns:3
Player stats at

He played college football at the University of Pittsburgh where he finished 7th on their list for career rushing yards with 2,234. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round of the 2001 NFL Draft and played a total of five seasons for the 49ers. He is also a former member of the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers.[2]


High School careerEdit

Barlow was born and raised in Pittsburgh.[1] He played football at Peabody High School[3] in Pittsburgh where he ran for 3,121 yards and 31 touchdowns. He also added 433 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns throughout his career. During his senior year, Barlow also played safety where he had 3.5 sacks, 33 tackles, and 1 interception. He led his team as the star player to the City League Championship three times.

During his high school career, Barlow was a two-time All-City choice, a Post Gazette City League Player of the Year, a member of the Post Gazette Fabulous 22, and also played in the prestigious Big 33 Classic Game, which advocates to help improve the conditions of Pennsylvania football. He has been compared to NFL hall of famer Curtis Martin during his high school career.[4][5] During his senior season, he verbally committed to the University of Pittsburgh.[6]

Barlow was inducted into the Pittsburgh City League High School Hall of Fame in 2017.[7]

College careerEdit

Receiving a full scholarship, Barlow attended the University of Pittsburgh where he played four years prior to entering the NFL draft. While there he rushed 486 times for 2,324 yards (4.78 yards per rush) and 20 touchdowns.[8]

Barlow's junior year, he was named to the second team All Big East after rushing for 630 yards and 6 touchdowns.[9] This was also the final year that Pitt played in Pitt Stadium. Barlow scored the final touchdown in the stadium at 7:06PM, just minutes before a record crowd of 60,190 people rushed the field and torn down the goal posts.[10]

On November 27, 2000, Barlow was named Big East Player of the Week after a career-high 272 yard and 4 touchdown performance against West Virginia on November 24, 2000. This was the most rushing yards against the Mountaineers since Syracuse's Larry Csonka rushed for 216 yards in 1965.[11][12] He left school, being ranked 11th on the school's career scoring list with 144 points and also had a total of three 200 yard games.[13]

In 2010, Barlow was ranked top 10 in the Big East in multiple categories including rushing attempts (4th with 197), rushing yards (3rd with 1,053), rushing yards per attempt (7th with 5.3), rushing touchdowns (7th with 8), plays from scrimmage (3rd with 210), yards from scrimmage (4th with 1,187), touchdowns from scrimmage (8th with 9), and overall touchdowns (9th with 9).[14]

Barlow was stated to be one of the greatest running backs in the University of Pittsburgh's history.[15] He was also listed by ESPN sports analyst Mel Kiper Jr. to be one of the top running backs available for the National Football League Draft.[16][17]

Professional careerEdit

Barlow was drafted in the 3rd round (80th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers and signed a $3.8 million three year contact. Denver Head Coach Mike Shanahan congratulated the 49ers for picking "the best back in the draft."[18] He played a total of six seasons in the NFL including five with San Francisco. In 2002, he was second in the NFC averaging 4.7 yards per carry.[19] His best year was in 2003 with the 49ers when he rushed for 1,024 yards despite only starting 9 games. For his career, he gained a total of 3,984 yards rushing and 30 rushing touchdowns.[20]

San Francisco 49ersEdit

Barlow started his first professional game in the NFL on December 7, 2003 against the Arizona Cardinals. This was after 49er starting running back Garrison Hearst was injured during the third quarter of a game against the Baltimore Ravens the week prior.[21] The 49ers won the game 50-14 with Barlow rushing for 154 yards and a touchdown.[22] Although he only started nine games, he finished the 2003 season leading the 49ers in rushing with 1,024 yards. He also scored 6 touchdowns and averaged 5.1 yards per carry.[23]

After enjoying a breakout 2003 season behind a run blocking line in which Barlow had a 5.1 yard per carry average and 1024 yards, Barlow became a restricted free agent. During that period, he was the number one running back talent available for a contract. The 49ers gave him the starting job by releasing Garrison Hearst and signing him to a long term deal for five years and $28 million. The terms included $20 million, of a 8 million signing bonus fully guaranteed.[24] Following this extension, the 49ers cut, traded, or released 19 of the 22 starting players including hall of famer Terrell Owens and Pro Bowl quarterback Jeff Garcia, placing Barlow in a position to carry the team primarily on his own. Barlow suffered a knee injury that spanned for multiple games, crippling his play.[25]

The 2005 season seemed to mark a rebound in his running game. His play was severely affected when he received a knee injury, cutting his season short. He had 420 yards on 102 carries for a 4.0 average through 7 games and finished the season with 581 yards on 176 carries for 3.3 yards per carry.[26]

Barlow finished his career with the 49ers appearing in 72 games, 30 of which he started. He rushed for 3,614 yards and 24 touchdowns on 891 carries. He also added 1,143 yards on 137 catches.[27]

New York JetsEdit

Looking to replace Curtis Martin, who at the time suffered a serious knee injury, the New York Jets acquired Barlow from the 49ers on August 20, 2006 in exchange for their second round draft pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. He was given an honorable mention by Bleacher Report as one of the best trades in the New York Jets' history.[28][29] As part of the deal, the Jets assumed the remainder of his contract which had three seasons remaining at base salaries of $2.5 million (2006), $3.25 million (2007) and $4 million (2008).[27]

Barlow appeared in twelve games for the Jets but only started three, running for 370 yards and scoring 6 touchdowns.[30] Due to another knee injury, Barlow was placed on injury reserve and was subsequently released on February 21, 2007.[30]

Pittsburgh SteelersEdit

On May 4, 2007, Barlow met with the Pittsburgh Steelers. This was after the Steelers failed to draft a running back during the 2007 NFL Draft.[31] Barlow signed a one-year contract with the Steelers on May 10, 2007. He was expected to share runningback duties with starter Willie Parker.[32] Barlow was released on August 27 due to numerous knee surgeries that affected his game.[33]


Barlow dancing with students at a school charity event

Barlow was a criminal justice major with a minor in business while attending college at Pitt.[1] While a member of the 49ers, Barlow would make routine visits to San Quentin State Prison to visit inmates. He would meet with the prison chaplain, Reverend Earl Smith, who once played chess in the prison with Charles Manson. Barlow would spend his only free day away from professional football to visit and talk with the inmates to give them encouragement after they are released.[34][35] Barlow also spent time reading with kids at different schools in the San Francisco area and also visited kids at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Barlow has been a long-time advocate on behalf of numerous children's cancer charities. He has rallied with former San Francisco mayor, Lieutenant Governor, and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom at charities to combat breast cancer.[36][37] In 2012, Barlow released a statement in support of new cancer treatments including a finding that folic acid playing a significant role in reducing the rates of two childhood cancers.[37]

Barlow is also an outspoken supporter of the YMCA. He supports local and regional YMCA programs by donating his time and money. He is specifically involved in YMCA's day summer camp program and many other programs for kids offered by the YMCA.[38]



College statistics[8]   Rushing   Receiving  
Season Team GP Att Yds TDs Avg Rec Yds TDs Avg
1997 Pittsburgh Panthers 7 27 108 2 4 6 140 1 23.3
1998 Pittsburgh Panthers 9 121 533 4 4.4 11 140 1 12.7
1999 Pittsburgh Panthers 10 141 630 6 4.5 6 94 1 15.7
2000 Pittsburgh Panthers 11 197 1,053 8 5.3 13 134 1 10.3
College totals 37 486 2,324 20 4.78 36 508 4 14.1


¹Led league ²Second place ³Third place Tied
Career Stats[39]   Rushing   Receiving  
Season Team G GS Att Yds Avg Lng TDs Rec Yds Avg Lng TDs
2001 San Francisco 49ers 15 0 125 512 4.1 25 4 22 247 11.2 61T 1
2002 San Francisco 49ers 14 0 145 675 4.7² 35 4 14 136 9.7 29 1
2003 San Francisco 49ers 16 4 201 1,024 5.1 78T 6 35 307 8.8 48 1
2004 San Francisco 49ers 15 14 244 822 3.4 60 7 35 212 6.1 15 0
2005 San Francisco 49ers 12 12 176 581 3.3 29 3 31 241 7.8 24 0
2006 New York Jets 12 3 131 370 2.8 12 6 7 21 3.0 8 0
Pro Totals 84 33 1,022 3,984 3.9 78T 30 144 1,164 8.1 61T 3


  1. ^ a b c Cimni, Rich (November 23, 2006). "For Barlow, Memories Run To Uncle". NY Daily News. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
  2. ^ Pro Football Reference – Kevan Barlow
  3. ^ Sostek, Anya (March 30, 2012). "Peabody Hosting Last Graduation As It Marks 100th Anniversary". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
  4. ^ "17 Oct 1996, Page 61 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  5. ^ "The Big 33". Big 33. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  6. ^ Pittsburgh Post – Gazette via Google News. "Panthers Sign Up 21 Recruits". Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  7. ^ "Pittsburgh City League Hall of Fame Awards Oct. 7 at AWC! (Sept. 6, 2017)". New Pittsburgh Courier. September 10, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Total Football Stats – Kevan Barlow
  9. ^ The Sundevils. "Coaches Bio - Vincent White". Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  10. ^ Collier, Gene (November 14, 1999). "Pitt Stadium Goes Out With A Bang". Post-Gazette. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  11. ^ "Barlow's 272 yards, 4 TDs power Pitt win over West Virginia". Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  12. ^ Pitt Football. "Kevan Barlow Named Big East Player of the Week". Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  13. ^ Pitt Football. "2005 Record Book". Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  14. ^ "Kevan Barlow". Sports Reference – College Football. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  15. ^ Shetler, Matt. "Pitt Football: Where Ray Graham Ranks Among Pitt's All-Time Great Running Backs". Bleacher Report. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  16. ^ "Mel Kiper - Top RBs, FBs available in draft -". Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  17. ^ "49ers Champ's Incredible Fan Paradise Paradise Press". Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  18. ^ "49ers Champ's Incredible Fan Paradise Paradise Press". Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  19. ^ ESPN. "NFC Rushing Statistic - 2002". Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  20. ^ "Player Stats – Kevan Barlow". Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  21. ^ Associated Press (December 4, 2003). "Around The League: Texans' Carr Practices, Will Start Against Jaguars". Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  22. ^ "Garcia Throws Four TDs, Owens Catches Two". ESPN Go. December 7, 2003. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  23. ^ "Kevan Barlow Statistics". Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  24. ^ Associated Press (February 23, 2003). "Barlow Gets Five-Year Extension". ESPN. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
  25. ^ Press, The Associated (September 23, 2004). "Notebook: Barlow expects to play despite sore knee". Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  26. ^ "49ers put Kevan Barlow on IR". UPI. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  27. ^ a b Pasquarelli, Len (August 20, 2006). "Jets Shore Up Backfield, Acquire Barlow From 49ers". ESPN. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
  28. ^ Galvin, Brandon. "New York Jets: 20 Best Trades in Franchise History". Bleacher Report. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  29. ^ Pasquarelli, Len (August 20, 2006). "Jets shore up backfield, acquire Barlow from 49ers". ESPN. Archived from the original on September 23, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  30. ^ a b Pasquarelli, Len (February 21, 2007). "Jets cut loose Barlow after only one year in NY". ESPN. Archived from the original on September 23, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  31. ^ Bouchette, Ed (May 4, 2007). "Steelers Meet With Running Back Kevan Barlow". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
  32. ^ Pasquarelli, Len (May 10, 2007). "Barlow to leave Jets after reaching deal with Steelers". ESPN. Archived from the original on September 23, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  33. ^ "RB Kevan Barlow among 10 Steelers cut". USA Today. Gannett Company. August 27, 2007. Archived from the original on September 23, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  34. ^ ESPN. "Hard time with Kevan Barlow". Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  35. ^ Kevan "Giving Wisely". Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  36. ^ Robinson, Jon (October 29, 2004). "Kevan Barlow Interview". IGN. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  37. ^ a b Yahoo News. "Kevan Barlow Celebrates New Research Into Childhood Cancer Prevention". Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  38. ^ Kevan Barlow. "How To Support The YMCA". Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  39. ^ ESPN NFL. "Kevan Barlow Stats". Retrieved May 26, 2012.

External linksEdit