He was so far out of favor in fact that his junior season he was moved from offense to defensive back and switched back and forth a couple of times during the season.
Despite the position changes, Barnett says it didn't bother him because he just wanted to be on the field.
"I just want to play, it doesn't matter where I'm at, as long as I'm on the field I'm happy," Barnett said. "If I play receiver then I play receiver, If I have to check a receiver I'll check a receiver it doesn't matter … It is what it is, whatever I had to do for the team to get better, that's what I'll do."
But this season it looks as though Barnett will be back on offense full time, and has been making the most of it in spring practices. He is looking like a player with a renewed vigor, exemplified by him running over Drew Frey in the third spring practice.
"He gave me a little tap after that saying you got me on that one, but I'll get you back," Barnett said with a big smile.
Barnett has been working with both the first and second teams so far this spring.
The move back to offense has come a potentially a difficult time with such a crowded and talent group of receivers, but Barnett seems to be relishing the challenge.
"Everybody's gonna have to step it up overall because we have some good players," Barnett said.
If Barnett can regain his 2007 form, the Bearcats will be even deeper and more talented at wide receiver than people had already imagined.