Surpise Pick? Barnett Picks Hoosiers

With Michigan State recently extending a scholarship offer, many thought Bishop Luers cornerback Lawrence Barnett was headed to East Lansing. But the 5-10, 180-pound cornerback proved those people wrong Wednesday when he announced he's headed to Bloomington...

Bloomington – Lawrence Barnett put the rumors to rest on Wednesday.

In recent days, the 5-10, 180-pound cornerback from Ft. Wayne's Bishop Luers H.S. had heard the speculation that he was headed to Michigan State. After all, the Spartans had just recently offered a scholarship, and there was plenty to like about the MSU program.

But Barnett went in another direction Wednesday, announcing he would play he college football at IU.

Barnett said he talked to the coaching staffs of both programs Tuesday to find out exactly how he'd fit in to their plans and what sort of opportunity he'd have to compete for playing time early. Ultimately he decided the Hoosiers were the best fit.

"Indiana said they seem me as a cover corner just like Tracy (Porter), but they think I can tackle a little bit better," said Barnett. "I can come up and tackle and help them out there. They also think I can return punts."

While playing time was a top priority, Barnett said there were other things that drew him to Coach Bill Lynch's program as well.

"It's Indiana, and I'm from Indiana," Barnett said. "With me being from here I know they're going to treat me well. That was a big plus for them. I also really like the coaching staff, Coach Lynch, Coach (Joe) Palcic."

Barnett's commitment gives the Hoosiers another talented in-state recruit that plenty of other BCS programs had targeted. He's a talented athlete who has 4.56 speed in the 40 and was also the starting point guard on Luers' state championship basketball team this past season.

He's the 12th member of the Hoosiers' '09 class, one that is shaping up as one of the best in recent memory.

"I looked at (the commits), and both schools have been getting some really good players," Barnett said of IU and Michigan State. "But in the end I was just trying to figure out where I fit in best."

Now that he's bound for Bloomington, his attention turns to getting on the field and playing a big role in helping the Hoosiers continue to build on their recent success.

"I'm hoping that since they have such good recruits coming in we can make an impact and help the program," Barnett said. "Coach Lynch has helped turn that program around and hopefully I can help them continue to do that once I get there."

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