It might be next year, it might be two years away, but one day Brandon Barnett and his older brother Freddie plan on running through the Big A with University of Arkansas jerseys on their backs.
Albeit the jerseys for the former Texarkana standouts won't be anywhere near the same size.
Defensive tackle Freddie Barnett (6-2, 300) was a 2004 Razorback football signee before detouring to Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College with plans to be actually enroll at Arkansas next January and go through spring practice.
Brandon (5-9, 195, 4.4) is a do-it-all player, making a name for himself at tailback and in track.
But he is also fully capable of playing wideout or defensive back instead of tailback where he will be on display for the West team this Friday night at 7 p.m. in the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star game at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
"Freddie decided to go ahead to summer school and is trying to get out early," Brandon Barnett said. "He will be headed to The Hill in December. It's going to be great to have us both up here. I can't wait for us to be on the same team."
The older Barnett picked up first-team all-conference honors at Trinity Valley after a season in which he made 51 tackles and recorded six sacks.
The younger Barnett says his status is still up in the air for next year because of academics, but he is planning to visit Butler County (Kan.) Community College this weekend while also still considering possibly going the prep school route and ending up at Hagrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va.
"I'm either going to end up at Hargrave or Butler Community College in Kansas," Barnett said. "Both of them are nice schools. I am supposed to go to Butler this weekend and then we'll make some type of decision if that's what we need to do.
"I know Bulter was national champions last year," Barnett added. "They've had a few people go pro and a bunch to go on to the next level and star in college. I know Hargrave has a great reputation as well."
There's no doubt Barnett would rather just don that Razorback jersey right away, but sources indicate that's not likely to happen.
"My test scores have not come back yet, but I would really like to make it up here and be on my way to The Hill," Barnett said. "Right now I am just trying to get the all-star game out of the way and glad to be up here with a lot of great athletes. I am just very fortunate to be in the position I am in."
Besides having some great players, the West has an advantage because it has Springdale head coach Gus Malzahn according to Barnett, who rushed for 166 yards when his Texarkana team was knocked out of the state playoffs by the Red Bulldogs.
"The West is going to take it," Barnett said. "We have got the best coach in the state. The Springdale coach is just great. We are doing so much stuff and putting so much in. I see why they were so good this year. I think the West is going to pull it out."
While Barnett fought through an injury-plagued season to rush for 1,289 yard and 11 touchdowns last season, he figures his 304 yards receiving would have probably been much greater if he had been playing at Springdale.
"Oh, my God," Barnett said. "I would have caught so many passes, so many. If I would have played in Springdale, I like I would have loved it. I just have so much respect for him. He just wants you to get out there and do what you have got to do."
While he is likely to be a tailback at either Hargrave or Butler, he would be one of a bevy of top-notch tailbacks once he gets to Arkansas so he might make a position change.
"I am to the point now where I just describe myself as an athlete," Barnett said. "I am not picky and I don't care where I end up."
Unlike some of the football players, Barnett said he is in peak shape as All-Star week neared.
"I was in track so I stayed in great shape," Barnett said. "I've just been on the job, working hard and just prepare myself for the next level. That's what being an athlete is all about."
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