Brad Bars should be in the thick of a very competitive battle at defensive end when training camp begins. With the graduation of Pete Massaro and Sean Stanley, one starting position opposite Deion Barnes and other spots in the rotation will be up for grabs. One of the squad's premier students, Bars' work habits in the strength and conditioning program have helped him add 15 pounds since the summer of 2012 and a total of 30 pounds since he arrived three years ago. The talented and relentless player is able to create opportunities for his teammates to make plays by being physical at the point of attack. The former Montgomery Bell Academy standout made fans at the 2013 Blue-White game take notice of his play by recording two sacks and three solo tackles. Bars owned a 3.77 grade-point average in finance following the spring semester and should be a strong candidate for Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America® consideration. He compiled a perfect 4.00 grade-point average during the 2012 fall semester and was selected to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District® team. The Dean's List student is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and is on schedule to graduate next spring.
2012 (Junior Season)
Bars played in eight games on defense and special teams. He missed the first two contests with a leg injury and made two tackles in the win over Navy to assist in Bill O'Brien's first career head coaching victory. Bars attained a 4.00 grade-point average during the 2012 fall semester. He was selected to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District® team and was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree for the second time.
2011 (Sophomore Season)
In his first season on the field, Bars saw playing time in 12 games and delivered one of the season's biggest special teams plays when he blocked an Illinois punt in the fourth quarter. After the block, the Nittany Lions kicked a field goal to pull within four points and won the Leaders Division game, 10-7, with a touchdown with less than 70 seconds to play to improve to 5-0 in the Big Ten at the time. Bars played a total of 97 snaps with a season-high 12 snaps each against Purdue, Nebraska and Wisconsin. He earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.
2010 (Freshman Season)
Redshirt season. Bars compiled a perfect 4.00 grade-point average during the 2010 fall semester.
A four-year starter for Coach Dan McGugin at Montgomery Bell Academy, Bars was a Tennessee Sportswriters all-state selection in 2009. He was named to the Dandy Dozen as one of Tennessee's top 12 players. During his junior and senior campaigns, he combined for a total of 179 tackles, 11 sacks and four interceptions. Bars helped his squad to a state championship in 2007 and, as captain, led his team to a state runner-up finish in 2009. Bars also lettered in track and basketball.
Full name is Bradley Joseph Bars. He is the son of Joe and Sally Bars. He has two younger brothers, Blake and Alex, and one younger sister, Lauren. His father and uncle, Mike Bars, played football at Notre Dame and his grandfather, Joe Bars Sr., was a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Doug Eggleston, Bars' maternal grandfather, and his uncle, Don Kolcheff, both played football at Michigan. In his free time, Bars enjoys attending concerts, listening to music, playing the saxophone and piano, and water sports. He is majoring in finance in the Smeal College of Business. Born April 24, 1992 in Chicago, Ill.