Barnett on ‘Bama

Blake Barnett has been lighting up California high school defenses week-in, week-out, but he always seems to have his eyes on the next step. After signing a financial aid agreement, he says he’s locked in on Alabama, where he’s visiting Saturday.

By air or by land, five-star Blake Barnett has been one of the top quarterbacks in the country this fall. He was at it once again on Friday night, breaking Corona (Calif.) Santiago High’s passing record with 498 yards including a trio of touchdowns. He also ran for 48 yards and added two more scores in a 49-35 win over Riverside (Calif.) King.

Despite the gaudy passing numbers, intrigue has increased surrounding the 6-foot-4, 200-pounder’s ability on the move. True dual-threat signal-caller, at Alabama?

“I would like to think that Alabama recruited me to be a quarterback and for being able to be throwing the ball,” he told this week. “I would like to think that running is just a bonus.”

The Crimson Tide’s current QB, Blake Sims, has done a bit of both this fall as well, though the explosive plays haven’t quite been there over the last two weekends. Still, the California kid knows Lane Kiffin’s offense will work itself out.

“I think they’re doing well, Coach (Nick) Saban is making adjustments,” Barnett said. “I know last week they didn’t perform as well as they probably would have liked, but a win is a win. It’s a good boost for this week, because it’s a really big game and it’s at home.

“Coach Kiffin’s offense has been really productive, but some people are getting used to it. I think the Florida game was a good example of the future and what could happen as far as how this offense could be operated.”

With Texas A&M on the slate for Saturday, Barnett and his father, Lance, will make the trip to Tuscaloosa. It is the second game on the schedule he’s been able to make it to. The Iron Bowl will likely be the next.

“It’s going to be a great atmosphere, I’m really excited to be in town and watch the Crimson Tide play,” he said.

While there, in addition to keeping tabs on the offensive scheme and flow of what could be another high scoring affair, the nation’s No. 3 quarterback will be wearing his recruiting hat -- as usual.

“I have some guys that I want to talk to and get some words in with, and there’s going to be some big prospects there that we’re looking at,” Barnett said. “It’s not so much a strategy, but I know what kids have to go through in this process because I went through it. I can relate to them and I can tell them what I need to know.

“It should be fun.”

Part of a potential pitch could be playing with a dual-threat talent at the next level, something that was furthered this month with Barnett inking a financial aid agreement (pictured above) with the program in advance of enrolling in January.

It doesn’t bind the prospect to the school, but Barnett is treating it as such.

“I didn’t do it just to do it, it was meaningful and exciting to be confirmed,” Barnett said. “It’s nice to know that and be a part of the football program is extremely exciting. I can’t wait to move on to the next level and be a part of the Crimson Tide.

“Hopefully I can come to Alabama and compete for a spot, I’m looking forward to that. I’m getting more excited every day. Roll Tide.”

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