RECRUITING: Barrett Only Looks To The Positives

When Cruz Barrett, the 6-3, 315-pound offensive linemen from Daytona Beach Mainland, knows what it's like to have to figure things out for himself. Because he's grown up without parents, he laughs when classmates tell him he's lucky since he doesn't have parents telling him what to do.

(See Cruz Barrett profile)

"They are the lucky ones because they have a family," he said. "The benefit is that I had to learn responsibility a lot younger and quicker than most kids."

Despite the hardships, Barrett maintains a positive attitude about life and he is focused on what he has to do to ensure that he's got a good future. One of the areas of focus for him is the SAT which is scheduled for November 5. He knows that if he is to play Division I football, it all starts with earning that qualifying score on the SAT. When it comes to football, he knows what he has to do to get his game ready for the next level, too.

"I need to hold my blocks longer, move my feet better, keep my head back and make sure I don't lunge at the defender in front of me," he said. "For a guy my size, I love to be on the move. I am quick for my size … my favorite block is when I pull on a guy and he is not expecting it."

He's already a very good pass blocker but he continues to work hard to hone those skills while improving his already well-known run blocking abilities. .

When it comes to football at the next level, he seeks a university that will make him feel at home with a good family environment between the players and the coaching staff.

Barrett said, "I am looking for a place that will give me a chance to play the game that I love. I want to be at the university that I will be most comfortable."

Official visits haven't been scheduled yet. The schools that are on his list are Florida, Florida State, Nebraska and West Virginia.

"I am concentrating on my senior year," he said. "I will schedule all of my official visits when the football season is complete."

Barrett grew up a Florida State fan and he attended camp this past summer in Tallahassee.

"I got along with (FSU) offensive line Coach Mark McHale at camp," he said.

He also attended the Florida State-Miami game. He's got FSU penciled in for an official visit after his high school season is over. He feels he already has a relationship built up with coaches on the FSU staff.

"I spent some time with running back coach Billy Sexton … he is a really cool guy, and coach Bowden is a legend that I have always admired," he said.

West Virginia has his interest because so many coaches he has talked to have only positive things to say about the university. He is being recruited to WVU by assistants Rick Trickett and Herb Hand.

"Coach Trickett seems like a really cool guy," said Barrett. "Coach Hand came to visit me and has stayed in touch since the visit."

Nebraska running backs Coach Randy Jordan stays in touch with him. Barrett has heard enough from Jordan to know that he definitely wants to make a visit to Lincoln.

Back in July, Barrett attended the very first Friday Night Lights minicamp in The Swamp. He got a chance to meet several of Florida's coaches.

"It was a great opportunity to get to know the coaching staff," he said. "I got to know Coach (Urban) Meyer, Billy Gonzales (wide receivers) and John Hevesy (offensive line). Florida's coaches have been in contact by calling and sending letters since that night."

Barrett is taking a long look at Florida because the Gators graduate five senior offensive linemen, four of whom are starters. He sees Florida as an opportunity to move up the depth chart quickly.

Cruz Barrett has been forced to grow up quickly but that hasn't stopped him from staying positive and finding focus in his life. He's got a long list of goals he expects to achieve: finishing his high school career with a state championship, a qualifying score on the SAT, his senior prom, his high school graduation and of course, that football scholarship which will allow him to continue playing football while getting a good education.

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