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When Anthony Barr was about four years old, he lived in his grandparents’ house with his mom, Lori, who was working two jobs and going to school to further her education.

She’d get home at night after the morning shift, classes, and her other gig, probably spent. Mom and son had their nightly ritual.

“She used to work at a spaghetti restaurant,” Anthony Barr says, “and she had to wear these big old black combat boots. And it was our routine: she would come home and I would unlace her shoes for her, take them off, take her socks off and rub her feet a little bit. That was like our little moment. We hadn’t seen each other all day, so we just talked and caught up on the day.”

Barr recalls the story vividly. It’s a sweet sentiment. One juxtaposed by the fact that he’s grown to become one of the most physically imposing 24-year-olds you’ll meet. He’s become a speedy and hulking strongside linebacker for the Vikings, a centerpiece to a defense expected to be one of the best in the NFL this season.

At the time, he says, nothing seemed like a struggle, but in retrospect, they might have been difficult times for Lori Barr, raising her son as a single parent while going to school. That’s a big reason why Barr’s charitable foundation – Raising the Barr – is now working to give single-parent households a better chance at continuing education.  Read full article

More About Anthony

Started all 42 games in which he has appeared and helped lead the NFL’s 3rd-ranked defense (314.9 ypg) in 2016.

• The 2nd-highest LB drafted by Vikings, behind Hall of Famer Chris Doleman at #4 in 1985, who later moved to DE. Also the 1st draft pick of the Mike Zimmer regime.

OFF THE FIELD Majored in business...Launched the Anthony Barr Foundation to benefit single mothers by awarding college scholarships and providing financial support to gain their degrees in California and Minnesota...College roommate of Vikings LB Eric Kendricks...Father, Tony Brooks, was a 4th-round draft pick (RB) by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1992 out of Notre Dame...Has 3 uncles who also played in the NFL.

HONORS Selected to the Pro Bowl after the 2015 and 2016 seasons...Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for game at Tampa Bay (10/26/14)