If you want to find out how good Overlea High running back Tyrese Barmer is, don't clock him in the 40-yard -- and don't watch him practice.
"He has a certain time in the 40 and he also has a certain time when ,14l you give him the ball," said Overlea coach Terry Ward. "He doesn't talk a lot and he's not a great practice player, but we forgive him when game time comes."
With good reason.
With three regular-season games remaining, Barmer, a junior, has rushed for 934 yards, 11 touchdowns and nine two-point conversions to lead the Falcons to a 7-0 record and the area's No. 6 ranking. Overlea ranks second in the area in scoring (35.3).
The Falcons are in first place in Baltimore County's 2A-1A Division and also lead the state's Class 2A, Region II as they close in on a sixth straight state playoff appearance.
On Saturday, when they turned back Chesapeake, 30-7, in what was probably the biggest game of the season, Barmer ran for 129 yards, a touchdown and two conversions.
"I always get psyched up for the games," said Barmer, who ranks first in rushing in Baltimore County and second in the area.
You see Barmer and wonder how he gets it done.
He isn't remarkably fast like his first cousin Antwan Barmer, a standout at Edmondson, and he isn't very big (5 feet 8, 150 pounds).
He's also quiet and unassuming. When he walks down the hall at Overlea, he walks close to the walls, almost as if he were hiding, much like his running style.
"I just try to make people miss me," said Barmer, who averages 7.9 yards per carry. "It's good being small, and I've always had good blockers."
Ward said: "He has an innate ability to cut. He's definitely a slasher. He comes in hard and has great ability to cut back."
When Barmer does talk, he's sure to mention his offensive linemen, saying that any back on the team could pile up yardage behind Mike Knodler, Jeff Mills, Wynn Jones, Jim McHugh, Justin Mazza, Steve Moss and tight end Bernard Hopkins.
Barmer's accomplishments apparently have surprised his coaches.
"He's not an impressive-looking kid," Ward said. "He jumped out at us last season. He was a super runner. He's not a great big imposing kid, but if there is a such thing as muscle density and quickness and those type things, Tyrese has them."
Tyrese Barmer's 1991 rushing stats
.... .... .... ..... ..... ..... .....2-pt.
Opponent...... Carr. .. Yds... TDs... conv.
Elkton......... 17 ..... 88..... 1.... 2
Towson......... 20 .... 173..... 2.... 2
Kenwood........ 13 .... 141..... 1.... 0
Milford Mill... 19 .... 173..... 3.... 2
Catonsville.... 14 ..... 85..... 1.... 1
Hereford....... 19 .... 145..... 2.... 0
Chesa.-BC...... 16 .... 129..... 1.... 2
Totals........ 118 .... 934.... 11.... 9