Talk about starting out young, Tallen Barrett got his start in football thanks to his older brother.
“I started playing in pre-k when I played on my older brother’s kindergarten team,” Tallen laughed. “I really fell in love with football as I was playing flag football and then started watching a lot of college and pro football. One game in particular really sticks in my mind. It was Superbowl 48 with the Seattle Seahawks against the Denver Bronchos and Peyton Manning. It was the first Superbowl I had watched, and I just remember how dominant the Seahawk defense was in that game. They won 43-8 and they’re still my favorite team today.”
There have been a couple of highlights in football along the way for Tallen.
“My freshman year the coaches let me do one running play with the varsity line when we were way ahead, and I broke a 70-yard run. It was great. Then my sophomore year against Idabel our starting linebacker got hurt and so I was next up. At the time I was all of 5-4 and about 125 pounds so they just tried to run over me on every play, but I got the last laugh as I had 10 solo tackles and three tackles for loss.”
As a senior, Tallen is a team leader and he’s got a fairly unique approach to leadership.
“I think a good leader is someone who can lead discipline on the field and then pass leadership qualities along to the next person. I’m in the process of trying to figure out who that will be for me but probably our quarterback who is just a junior now.”
In addition to football, Tallen also plays soccer and runs track and is in student council, FCCLA, “Cats for Christ and the Choctaw Nation Youth Advisory Board.
After he graduates, Tallen plans to attend OSU and get a degree in financial management and knows how he would like to be remembered by the football team at Atoka.
“I hope they’ll remember me as a hard-working guy who gave 100 percent at practice and in games but was also a friend.”