A week after watching his future team earn a big victory on his off day, University of Arkansas commit Brandon Barnett will be back to worrying about keeping his current one at the top of the poll.
Barnett will be looking for his third straight game of topping the century mark rushing when top-ranked Butler County (Kan.) Community puts their top ranking on the line in a 7 p.m. game Saturday night over visiting Air Force Prep.
The former Texarkana standout and MVP of the 20095 Arkansas High School Coaches All-Star game has rushed 22 times for 101 yards against Dodge County CC and 109 yards in a win over Independence CC in his last two games.
"We are doing great and just have to stay focused," Barnett said. "Since Pearl River (Miss. CC) lost, we have moved up to No. 1 in the poll. We just have to stay positive, stay focused and listen to our coach because we have a great coach. I'm just really getting it going now after sitting out the year."
Barnett, who rushed for over 1,200 yards his senior season for Texarkana, was on hand at Reynolds Razorback Stadium last Saturday to see the Razorbacks' 24-23 double overtime win over Alabama.
It was the first time he had been there since the aforementioned All-Star game where he rushed for 95 yards and 3 touchdowns and caught 3 passes for 31 yards to lead his team to a 28-13 win.
"Last time I was at this stadium, everything was good," Barnett said. "It turned out to be very good this time also…There is no doubt in my mind that this program is going to be great once again. Last year they were young, but this year they are coming together as won and winning close games."
Barnett – who will have three years of eligibility once he gets to Fayetteville - played for new Arkansas offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn during that all-star game and looks forward to doing so again.
"Coach Malzahn is a great coach and he has a focus on getting the job done and having all his weapons in the right place at the right time as you can see," Barnett said. "He brings a whole new package and I can't wait to get here and play for the Razorbacks and get in on all this fun."
Arkansas will have a solid group of tailbacks next season with Barnett, who has rushed for 325 yards and 6 touchdowns in four games this season, set to join Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Michael Smith in the stable of runners.
"Felix Jones, Michael Smith and Darren McFadden – they are all great running backs," Barnett said. "We have got a great system going right now and I am just going to step in and do my part when called on. I know they have plans to use us all."
Barnett has rushed for 68, 47, 101 and 109 yards in his four games this season.
"It just takes time," Barnett said. "I redshirted last season and practiced with those guys, but it's different when you are working as a group. I just had to find my way through. I have a great offensive line and now I have myself together."
Barnett is teammates with former Ashdown wideout Dee Williams, who signed with the Razorbacks in 2006 before matriculating to Butler.
Wiliams has caught 7 passes for 81 yards this season.
"Dee is really young and battling, but he is going to get through it," Barnett said. "He's starting to realize how different college football is than high school football. You just have to take what you can get, not do too much and remain focused."
Barnett is leaning toward staying at Butler the second semester, running track and not having the same issue his brother Freddie - a 6-3, 305-pound defensive tackle - had of not being eligible when he came time to transfer to Arkansas.
"I haven't made up my mind right now, but most likely that is going to happen," Barnett said. " I just can't wait to get here, but I am going to be patient. I want all my school work done so next year I will be here."
Freddie Barnett, who spent two years at Trinity Valley (Texas) JC is taking a pair of classes that should put him at Arkansas before Brandon makes it on campus according to the younger Barnett.
"Everything is going fine with Freddie," Brandon said. "He just had to get a couple more classes out of the way. He will be here in December. He is taking them in Texarkana and he'll be ready. It's going to be fun to finally get up there together."
Taking Care of No. 1
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