CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4)Shaquil Barrett is making quite the name for himself as a Broncos linebacker. He’s second on the team in sacks and first in forced fumbles. And he says he owes it all to his first love: wrestling.

“I was state champion my senior year. I took like fourth my junior year,” Barrett said on Xfinity Monday Live.

“What weight class?” CBS4’s Vic Lombardi asked Barrett on the show.

“215,” said Barrett.

“Does wrestling translate when you make moves on the football field?” Lombardi asked.

“Some pass rush moves like using my hands and stuff it makes it a little bit more easy, make me more comfortable,” said Barrett. “Like swiping and stuff. And then every once in a while you get … a guy’s arm stuck under you and you just pull his arm through. It’s like an arm drag in wrestling. So that helps you out getting around the edge a little bit in football.”

Barrett is in his second year in the NFL and had his best performance so far in the Broncos most recent game. Starting for the first time in place of injured DeMarcus Ware in Cleveland, he had 9 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks, a forced fumble (that he recovered) and one pass defended.

You can imagine it took him a couple of days to recover from that one.

“I was real sore. My legs, shoulders, arms, my fingers, everything was hurting. My feet was hurting, and my feet never hurt. I guess all them reps I played out there and I was trying to give it my all and it just caught up with me the next day,” Barrett said.

Barrett revealed on the show that he was in fact named after Shaquil O’Neal.

“My dad must have been a huge fan,” he said.

The Broncos face the Packers on Sunday night, and Barrett said they know they have a big task in trying to slow down quarterback Aaron Rogers.

“He’s going to make it real hard Sunday,” Barrett said. “He’s going to try to get out of the pocket and run around. Similar to Teddy Bridgewater, but it’s going to be a lot harder. I like quarterbacks who see you coming and want to go down and give you the easy sack. Aaron Rogers is most definitely going to give us a challenge.”


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