- Height: 5'10"
- Weight: 195lbs
- Date of Birth: April 7, 1975
- Birthplace: Roanoke, Virginia
- High School: Cave Spring High School
- College: University of Virginia
- Draft: 2nd round, 36th overall, New York Giants, 1997
- Position: Running Back
Tiki Barber is an excellent example of how important patience is in professional sports. After enjoying a successful college football career, Barber had a frustrating start to his NFL career. However, Barber kept working hard, he never gave up, and he was rewarded. By the time he retired, Barber was one of the premier running backs in the NFL.
Barber was born on April 7, 1975 in Roanoke, Virginia. He was not the only Barber born on that day, as he has an identical twin brother, Ronde Barber. Growing up, Barber was a star in both football and track and field. In track he won numerous state titles in the long jump, and he was named to the All-District team three times in football. He amassed career totals of 3,628 rushing yards, 567 carries, and 41 touchdowns.
Barber, along with Ronde, decided to attend the University of Virginia upon graduating from high school. Barber had a solid career at Virginia, finishing second all time with 3,389 career rushing yards (Thomas Jones ranks first.). He became the first running back in school history with back-to-back 1,000-plus rushing yard seasons with 1,397 yards in 1995 and 1,360 yards in 1996. the rushing yards he collected in 1995 (1,397) set a new school single season mark. Barber also took his track talents with him to the collegiate level, receiving three letters and tying Virginia’s all-time long jump record.
Barber entered the 1997 NFL Draft after graduating from Virginia, and he was selected by the New York Giants with the 36th overall pick in the second round. Barber had a disappointing start to his career, gaining only 511 rushing yards, 299 receiving yards, and four total touchdowns. After suffering injuries and being removed from the starting lineup in 1998, Barber returned in 1999 and displayed his ability as a multiple threat player. Even though he had another disappointing year rushing the football (258 yards), Barber still managed to gain over 1,600 yards from scrimmage due to his receiving and punt returning skills.
Barber finally broke out as a runner in 2000 with his first season of 1,000 rushing yards; he also established a career high with 719 yards receiving and helped the Giants reach the Super Bowl. From the 2000 season through the rest of his career, Barber was considered one of the premier running backs in the NFL. Even though he fell short of 1,000 rushing yards in 2001 (865 yards), he still had a solid year with 577 receiving yards.
In 2002, Barber rushed for over 1,300 yards and gained nearly 2,000 total yards from scrimmage. Even though the next couple of years saw Barber continue to put together impressive seasons, the Giants stumbled as a team and Barber was plagued by a problem: fumbling. His inability to hold on to the football consistently was seemingly the only major chink in Barber’s armor. However, things changed drastically for Barber and the Giants in 2005.
In 2005, Barber, with his new ball-holding technique, rushed for a career high 1,860 yards, led the entire NFL with 2,390 total yards from scrimmage, and the Giants rebounded from a 6-10 record the previous year to go 11-5. Barber did more of the same in 2006, becoming only the third player in NFL history to post four seasons with 2,000 or more total yards. The 2006 season turned out to be Barber’s last in the NFL as he decided to retire, claiming a desire to pursue a broadcasting career. He retired a three-time Pro Bowler with 10,448 rushing yards, 55 rushing touchdowns, 5,183 receiving yards, and 12 receiving touchdowns. Over his career he set numerous Giants career, season, and single game records.
Career Highlights, Awards, and Accolades:
- Three-time All-District in high school.
- Won multiple state track titles in the long jump in high school.
- Ranks second all time at the University of Virginia with 3,389 career rushing yards.
- Holds University of Virginia school record for rushing yards in a season: 1,397 yards.
- Three-time Pro Bowler: 2005-2007.
- Led NFL in total yards from scrimmage two times: 2004 and 2005.
- Five career games with 200 or more rushing yards.
- Thirty-eight career games with 100 or more rushing yards.
- One of only three players in NFL history with four seasons of 2,000 or more total yards.
- Led the Giants in rushing for an NFL record 80 consecutive games.
- Holds the Giants’ record for most rushing yards in a single game: 234 yards.
- Holds multiple Giants season records, including: Rushing yards: 1,860, Rushing attempts: 357, 100 yard games: 9, Total yards: 2,390
- Holds multiple Giants career records, including: Rushing yards: 10,449, Rushing touchdowns: 55, Rushing attempts: 2,217, Receptions: 586, Total yards: 17,359.