Woodland – Dorchester, S.C.
No. 42 DE in the country
No. 6 overall player in South Carolina
Michael Barnett committed to Georgia without even stepping foot on campus.
But why? With offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame and a handful of other programs, wouldn’t a four-star prospect like to take some trips and weigh out his options? Wouldn’t he want to see Athens before flipping his commitment from Florida State and giving up a life in Tallahassee? That wasn’t the case for this 6-foot-4.5, 251-pound defensive end from Dorchester, SC.
Barnett found out all he needed to know from his Georgia recruiting coach, Scott Ekeler. Barnett liked everything he heard from Ekeler and saw on the Internet, and it didn’t hurt either Barnett’s feelings or his mom’s that Georgia isn’t that far away from home for him.
According to Scout National Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons, a trip to Athens that Barnett took in October only reaffirmed that he made the right decision by committing to Georgia in late September.
Barnett, a four-star defensive end and Scout’s 21st-ranked defensive end in the country, is also an early enrollee at Georgia. Barnett joins seven other players who decided to move to Athens for the spring semester.
HONORS: Scout.com four-star prospect, No. 27 ranked DE nationally, No. 13 ranked DE in the South region, No. 2 ranked DE in South Carolina… Selected to attend Nike’s The Opening by Student Sports… Named to the South Carolina Football Coaches Association 2014 Palmetto Champions Lower State All-Star Team…Selected to the 2014 South Carolina Shrine Bowl
SCOUTING: Barnett is still new to the defensive side of the ball. He started off as an offensive tackle in high school, so he still has a lot to learn. He has very good size, a frame to add weight to, and he will end up as a strong-side end on the next level. Barnett has good balance, flashes good strength in contact and can chase the football. He is best at getting up the field pressuring the quarterback. - Chad Simmons
LEGGE’S QUESTION: I know that Barnett can rush the passer, but there is so much more to playing defensive end than just that. Can he be molded into the total package at defensive end?
LEGGE’S THOUGHTS: When I saw Michael Barnett play in the fall he certainly had many of the attributes you would like to see in a college football prospect, but he didn’t make a ton of plays. That could have been because Silver Bluff ran away from him - that could have been part of it. But if left that night thinking that he had the frame - that we clear - but he didn’t have a lot of plays to show for it. Now, he’s got great length, and he’s got the frame where he could really add weight. It is clear that, at a minimum, he’s raw.