January 27, 2010

Barnett Just a Few Visits from a Decision?

Since his transfer from Dallas A. Maceo Smith it seems that coaches have had no trouble finding Chris Barnett, now of Euless Trinity. The 6-foot-6, 245-pound prospect has seen plenty of coaches come by to get an up close look at him since his change of schools. One coach came in on Monday that caught Barnett a bit by surprise.

"(Bob Stoops) came by and talked with (Trinity head) coach (Steve) Lineweaver. Coach Stoops told him that he likes my athleticism and things like that," Barnett said. "He was complimenting me on having a lot of the skills that comes with being a big athlete. I'm not just able to run like a receiver but that I have the body-type of a defensive end.

"It all sounded pretty positive."

Many of Barnett's dealings have been with former defensive ends coach Chris Wilson but now that he has departed Barnett has plans to get to better know Sooner offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Kevin Wilson.

The two should have a chance to get better acquainted when Barnett heads to Norman for Oklahoma's Feb. 20 junior day with fellow Dallas area standout Anthony Wallace of Dallas Skyline.

It will be neither player's first trip to Norman after accompanying Jatashun Beachum last summer.

"Really if you aren't playing football there isn't a lot for you to do and some might look at that as a bad thing but I see it as a good one," he said. "I mean if you have a lot of clubs and what not a lot of people are telling you that you should do this or that but if you are can avoid some of that stuff you can focus and can keep occupied."

It's a different way of looking at things but that type of dogged focus is what Barnett feels can separate him moving forward.

"I try to stay on point. It's just the whole thing of work ethic and how hard everyone has to work to succeed. You don't want to work with 10 other people who aren't willing to put in there all," he explained. "I mean even if you have 11 guys who are doing the work and then one gets hurt, you've got to have someone step up.

"If the other team has 11 people that are going hard and you've only got 10, that means someone is going to get beat and when one of you gets beat, everyone gets beat."

The bonds he is looking for at the college of his choice extends beyond those built solely on the field.

"One thing I would have to say matters to me is the team standpoint not just like 'hey, we're teammates' but it's more like we're a family," Barnett tried to explained. "I mean if your teammate is down you've got to help pick him up, not just football wise but just in life and also knowing your teammate has got you.

"It matters how well the coaches interact with you, you don't want to just be able to talk about football with the guy coaching you but be able to trust him with personal things. You have to talk and communicate on other terms."

The talented tight end already holds an offer from the Sooners as well as Miami, Oklahoma State, TCU, Tennessee, and Florida State among many others is already working to set up his visit schedule.

"I'll be at TCU this weekend, I've also got a scheduled visit to Alabama a few weeks after Oklahoma's junior day. I don't know if I'm going to go to Texas' junior day because I haven't heard much from them lately. And then this summer I'm going to try and take a trip to Miami.

Barnett watched his brother, Eryon, commit early to Texas and his good friend Jatashun Beachum pick Arkansas in mid-October and has watched both closely to try and learn from how they handled their business, both the good and the bad.

With all that he has learned it seems that Barnett has been able to formulate a plan on how to handle his own recruitment.

"I just watched their mistakes. I am trying to learn from them and not to repeat their mistakes or what not. Both of them went through injuries and I looked at the times they weren't preparing themselves. They could have been even better and could have come back stronger, faster. The day they took off is a day they could have been working," he said.

"As of right now I know that going into the summer I would like to know what school I would be going to. Not necessarily that I'm going there but if I had to pick I could go there and be comfortable with that. I'd like to know where I'm going so I can start to prepare early for the guy I'm going to play for in college."

And it seems the pressure is now on many o the schools among his ever-changing top list as the right situation might just help him sort out his future at this very early point.

"I would have to say that TCU, Oklahoma, Miami, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Alabama those schools right there kind of stick out to me. If I go to one of those schools and things to perfect at a junior day then I might make a commitment then."

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