May 8, 2013

Barnett says it will be tough to leave SEC country

Finding players diverse enough to be considered an athlete at 270-pounds is rare and Derek Barnett has used that distinction to attract the coaches of several of the nation's top programs to his doorstep.

The 6-foot-3, 270-pound Brentwood Academy product has had a stellar beginning to his recruitment holding offers from Florida St., LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi St., Texas A&M and South Carolina and the monstrous senior-to-be says the attention has just kept coming.

"Some schools have come by to see me. UT, Vanderbilt, Clemson, Alabama was at school on Monday, Georgia Tech and Texas A&M recently," Barnett said. "My latest offer was Illinois, I think."

With so many schools beating down his door, it has been hard to stand out but one school has managed to do so.

"I would say Ole Miss. Stands out as recruiting me the hardest. They try the hardest to make contact with me," Barnett said. "Then UT, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and some other schools. I want to narrow things down in about two and a half weeks and make it about four or five schools."

With such a short timeline, schools like Nebraska who just offered Barnett weeks ago have found themselves facing an extremely uphill battle.

"Nebraska had a coach come down a couple of days ago. He was trying to get me to look at the school and give it a chance," Barnett said. "My coach told him that I'd probably like to play in the SEC so they were a little worried about that. Right now, I'm probably looking to stay in the SEC, or Ohio St. or Florida St."

So, with only a few weeks left before Barnett narrows down his list of schools, visits will be at a premium and two schools have lucked out as the behemoth will be stopping by to see what they have to offer.

"In June I'll be visiting Ohio St. and South Carolina," Barnett said. "That's all I have going on for visits right now but we'll see what happens."

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