However, if you saw him in action, there was little chance of that happening. A talented receiver who can get down the field like a wide receiver but with enough size and strength to block like an offensive lineman, it's no wonder that Barnett has begun to hear from colleges all over the South looking for that receiving tight end of the future.
"I'm hearing from LSU, Alabama, Auburn and West Virginia," the 6-3, 215-pound Barnett tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. Barnett says that he doesn't have a favorite among the schools and he plans to take things nice and slowly before making a decision.
With a career-best 40-yard dash time of 4.53, which he ran at Vanderbilt's summer camp last month, Barnett has the speed to play wide receiver on the next level if a team so desired, but he could also line up at outside linebacker in the right system. However, most teams are recruiting him as a tight end because of his ability to beat linebackers and safeties off the line and get open in the secondary.
Soon to be a three-year starter, Barnett caught 31 passes last season for more than 300 yards and one touchdown in the wide open Spartan attack led by former Alabama wide receiver Joey Jones. Those numbers should only improve as he has a chance to learn and get better before his senior season. Much of the time he spends this summer will be on college campuses around the South as he travels to visit some of the schools he is considering outside the state.
"I've already camped at Vanderbilt," he says. "I'm also going to camp at LSU and probably North Carolina as well...I'm mostly there to improve myself, but some of these camps you're basically showing what you can do. The thing I like to see out of the coaching staffs is how much attention they pay to you. I remember I went to some camps last summer and they didn't pay you any attention. You could tell which ones they wanted to see and which ones they didn't. That kind of stuff bothers me."
It's a safe bet to assume that Barnett will be one of the players that coaches watch this summer as he makes the summer camp circuit before returning to work in preparation for his senior season. Also a standout baseball player with a 4-1 record last season as a pitcher and a .311 batting average with four home runs as a designated hitter, Barnett says that there are a couple of things he wants to improve on before the ball is kicked off next fall.
"As far as straight-on speed in my 40, I'm pretty good, but I need to work on quickness with my hands and feet. I also need to work on my blocking. If I can improve those areas then I'll be happy."