6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
American football player
Date of birth:
(1979-01-07) January 7, 1979 (age 36)
Place of birth:
Pittsburgh (PA) Peabody
2001 / Round: 3 / Pick: 80
Garrison Hearst, Cedrick Wilson, Willie Parker, Najeh Davenport, Curtis Martin
University of Pittsburgh
Kevan Barlow TD vs Colts
Kevan Courtney Barlow (born January 7, 1979) is a former American football running back. Barlow was born and raised in Pittsburgh where he played high school football for Peabody High School.
- Kevan Barlow TD vs Colts
- High School career
- College career
- Professional career
- San Francisco 49ers
- New York Jets
- Pittsburgh Steelers
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.
Barlow has recently been a philanthropist and is a supporter of children's charities including the YMCA and children's cancer research.
High School career
Barlow was born and raised in Pittsburgh. He played football at Peabody High School 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.
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 33 Classic Game. During his senior season, he verbally committed to the University of Pittsburgh.
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.
Barlow's junior year, he was named to the second team All Big East after rushing for 630 yards and 6 touchdowns. 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.
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. 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.
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).
Barlow was drafted in the 3rd round (80th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. 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. 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.
San Francisco 49ers
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. The 49ers won the game 50-14 with Barlow rushing for 154 yards and a touchdown. 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.
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. 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, a $1.5 million signing bonus and a $6.5 million option. Following this extension, the 49ers cut, traded, or released 19 of the 22 starting players, placing Barlow in a position to carry the team primarily on his own. Barlow had to run behind a makeshift offensive line for two years, which ultimately affected his game.
The 2005 season seemed to mark a rebound in his running game. He had 420 yards on 102 carries for a 4.0 average through 7 games but finished the season with just 581 yards on 176 carries for only 3.3 yards per carry, behind a San Francisco offensive line that had become one of the worst in the league after the 2003 season.
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.
New York Jets
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 fourth round draft pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. 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).
Barlow appeared in twelve games for the Jets but only started three, running for 370 yards and scoring 6 touchdowns. He dropped to third on the depth chart behind Cedric Houston and Leon Washington and was subsequently released on February 21, 2007.
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. Barlow signed a one-year contract with the Steelers on May 10, 2007. He was expected to compete with Najeh Davenport to serve as the second running back behind starter Willie Parker. Barlow was released on August 27 as part of the Steelers' final roster cutdowns prior to the season.
Barlow was a criminal justice major with a minor in business while attending college at Pitt. While a member of the 49ers, Barlow would make routine visits to San Quentin State Prison to visit death row 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 the inmates. Barlow also spent time reading with kids at different schools in the San Francisco area.
Barlow has been a long-time advocate on behalf of numerous children's cancer charities. 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.
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.