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Shaquil Barret, wife and 3 Children, Perseverence Pays Off

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  • Shaquil Barret, wife and 3 Children, Perseverence Pays Off

    Shaquil Barrett, his wife happy to see their perseverance pay off with Broncos
    Barrett's wife and three children are 'his pride and joy'

    By Nicki Jhabvala
    The Denver Post
    POSTED: 09/06/2015 12:01:00 AM MDTADD A COMMENT| UPDATED: 105 MIN. AGO




    Jordanna Barrett has been planning her dream wedding since the day she got married.

    On Feb. 2, 2012, she and her fiancé stood in a sterile courtroom. She, nine months pregnant. He, a sophomore at Colorado State. Both teenagers, signing off — literally — on the next phase of their lives.

    "We never shared vows," she said. "When we got married, we said we are going to have a wedding and we are going to exchange vows."

    On Feb. 27, 2016, in her hometown of Omaha, Jordanna will again marry the man of her dreams in the big, glamorous wedding she's been envisioning for years. The one in the picturesque church, with the steeple and stained glass. The one with the real flowers. The one with some 250 guests, with eight bridesmaids and eight groomsmen. The one that is followed by an exotic honeymoon, just the two of them.

    This wedding, though, won't be the start of something new, as it is with most couples. The Barretts' road to the altar has been long and rocky. This wedding will be a celebration, Jordanna said. A celebration of the past five years of their journey and of all the people who helped them get this far.

    This one will celebrate their dream realized when he — Shaquil Barrett, a father of three, a husband and a 22-year-old outside linebacker — became a Bronco.

    ONE DOOR CLOSES, ANOTHER OPENS

    After three seasons, 37 games, 245 tackles, 18 sacks and six forced fumbles, Shaquil saved one of his finest plays for last in his career at CSU. The Rams trailed Washington State by eight points with two minutes left in the 2013 New Mexico Bowl when Cougars running back Jeremiah Laufasa took the handoff at Washington State's 31-yard line. After three strides upfield, he was stopped in his tracks by Barrett, who snatched the ball out of his arms and fell on it. The fumble and recovery set up a Rams touchdown and game-tying, two-point conversion. CSU went on to win 48-45.

    "It's about being resilient," then-CSU coach Jim McElwain said afterward. "It's about understanding every play has a history and life of its own."

    That play's history was one most college students don't choose to have. Barrett was a father of two at the time. He was playing for his family. And, he hoped, a future NFL paycheck.

    "His kids are his pride and joy," Jordanna said. "If anybody watched us, that's the first thing they would see. His kids are who he is."

    Shaquil Barrett and his wife, Jordanna, pose with their children after the Broncos’ preseason finale Thursday night: daughter Aaliyah and sons
    Shaquil Barrett and his wife, Jordanna, pose with their children after the Broncos' preseason finale Thursday night: daughter Aaliyah and sons Shaquil Jr. and Braylon, far right.
    Jordanna learned she was pregnant with Shaquil Jr. not long after Shaquil Sr. learned the University of Nebraska at Omaha was shuttering its football program in 2011. He had just finished his freshman season with the Mavericks, and she had just completed high school. He decided to continue his dream at CSU. And she followed.

    From 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Jordanna worked as a nanny. She'd return home for a few hours, maybe see her husband for one after he finished school and football practice, then she'd race off to her second job, as a manager at Taco John's. She'd get home again at 1 a.m., only to wake up every few hours for night feedings before starting the process all over again. Shaquil picked up random work shifts where he could. He begged Jordanna to let him help at night with Shaquil Jr., now 3, and later with Braylon, 2.

    "A lot of dads are like, 'You got it. You can handle it,' " Jordanna said. "He wanted to be a part of it."

    They found help along the way. Former CSU cornerback Bernard Blake and his brother, Eric, volunteered to babysit, freeing up Jordanna to work in the mornings and, occasionally, allowing the couple to go on dates.

    But the worry that comes with raising a family while one spouse juggles school and football and the other works and raises two children took its toll. The Barretts chose this and they wanted it and they have no regrets. But that didn't keep the "what ifs" from flooding their thoughts. What if Shaquil doesn't get drafted? What if he gets hurt? What will they do? Where will they go? What's next?

    Shaquil promised his wife that his pursuit, this paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle, would have a pot a gold at the end.

    "I finally had to just listen to him or I was going to break down," she said. "I didn't know what the future held, but I knew his dream was to get to the NFL."

    "I JUST LOVE BEING AROUND THEM"

    Aaliyah Barrett, a baby girl Shaquil calls his little princess, was born March 30, 2015. She, like Braylon, was planned, timed so Shaquil could be there for her birth and enjoy her first couple months of life before football took over.

    But football arrived earlier this year, and the need to secure a full-time job became even more pressing.

    Barrett wasn't drafted after finishing his career at CSU, but the Broncos signed him as a free agent and kept him on the practice squad last year. He never got into a game.

    So he and Jordanna teamed up to hurdle the next obstacle. He changed his diet to help improve his game. She made all the meals, tailoring a plan she received from his agent to his preferences. His body fat dropped from 18 percent to 11, and his comfort in new Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' 3-4 alignment grew.

    For nearly a month during training camp this summer, Barrett was separated from his family. Jordanna and the kids visited her family in Omaha while he focused on football. Every morning, though, no matter if he had returned from a game the previous night at 3 a.m., Shaquil would wake up at 8 a.m. to FaceTime his wife and kids, to tell them how much he loved them and how much he missed them before heading off to work.

    "I just love being around them, making them laugh and playing around with them," he said. "It makes their day and it makes mine."

    Shaquil, a name unfamiliar to most Broncos fans at the start of the summer, made a splash during the exhibition schedule. He recorded a team-high 16 tackles (13 solo) and tied for a league high with four sacks. Four months ago the Broncos boasted two elite edge pass rushers, Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, and held out high hopes for first-round draft pick Shane Ray. Now they might have four.

    The hype is nice every now and again. But it's not why Barrett is here. And it's not why his family will be celebrating, together, in February. "Not many people set that high of a goal and actually get there," Jordanna said. "He has. It's been a hard road, and we're at a point now where we can just live."
    Last edited by FL BRONCO; 09-06-2015, 10:30 AM.
    My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter

  • #2
    Stumbled upon this article and although it is a bit lengthy, I enjoyed it and thought I'd share. Yes I abreviated the title, seemed like the way to go.


    Last edited by FL BRONCO; 09-06-2015, 10:51 AM.
    My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter

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    • #3
      Good for him.

      SHAQ!

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      • #4
        Such a great article. A man who didn't walk away and was responsible. I like the date of the wedding too. Making sure it doesn't get in the way of a 2016 Super Bowl huh?

        I hope that it all works out and we see him with his children and wife raising the Lombardi.
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        • #5
          Great story. He's gonna do great things and hopefully it will all pay off. Open your eyes Shaq, your dreams are coming true.
          Adopted Bronco: DeMarcus Ware

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          • #6
            That is a great story. I hope he see lots of game time this year.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by one_bad_55 View Post
              That is a great story. I hope he see lots of game time this year.
              you and me both !

              Pullin' for the guy

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              • #8
                As if I didn't already like the guy before... Even more reason to pull for him.
                :usa: *** God Bless Our Military Men And Women*** :usa:

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                Adopted Bronco 2015 CJ Anderson

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                • #9
                  Great story and imo this guy has a pay day coming.

                  Honestly the front office should offer him some kind of super team friendly deal now like it did with TD and Rod Smith. We could probably lock him up to a similar contract draft picks get.

                  We could wait but then he will have more leverage imo as I think this guy is probably going to be a starter at OLB in the 3-4 sooner or later
                  Skill + Effort = Talent. Talent + Effort = Achievement. A. Duckworth - Grit.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hadez View Post
                    Great story and imo this guy has a pay day coming.

                    Honestly the front office should offer him some kind of super team friendly deal now like it did with TD and Rod Smith. We could probably lock him up to a similar contract draft picks get.

                    We could wait but then he will have more leverage imo as I think this guy is probably going to be a starter at OLB in the 3-4 sooner or later
                    good for him ...his salary of 435,000 is going to go a lot further then paycheck to paycheck
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