Floridian Big Man Ready To Improve

When you're looking for solid offensive linemen, there are a few vital characteristics to make your hunt a success. Sure, strength, size, mobility, these are all excellent qualities of future college and possibly NFL players but what about the ability to pick one's self up after a loss and press forward seeing lessons learned? Cruz Barrett has shown he can do that and more in five games with Mainland High School.

It had been a while since anyone from Nebraska had spoken to Cruz Barrett, a native out of Daytona Beach, but the mystery as to why that was has been solved. Apparently Coach Randy Jordan was assigned Barrett as a recruiting target but it's difficult to talk to a target when his means of communication simply isn't available.

"it's been hard to get in contact with me because my cell's been off but I've been getting letters from them (Nebraska). Around the spring, when we did talk, we had a good conversation. Coach Jordan is someone I'd be interested in hearing from again," said Barrett.

Communication troubles aside, Barrett reports a slew of offers have come his way from South Carolina, West Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and, of course, Nebraska. That bunch brings his total to around eight, he claims and he's been very busy taking in some of the local color in the meantime. "I went to Florida State during the Florida State-Miami game and I went to Gainseville to the Florida-Tennessee game. I'm talking with my teammate and coach about going to Florida State-Syrcause, too," he said.

Cruz admits the trips to the bigger Flordian schools are easy due to location but mentions he wants to leave the Sunshine State to see what lies beyond and this is good news for all of the Cornhusker fans looking for his signature. "I would like to get out of Florida. I definitely want to get up to West Virginia, Nebraska and South Carolina," he said. Right now, though, it's about the season. At least, that's what Cruz and his coach are stressing.

"I don't have any official visits set yet because my coach is trying to get us focused on the season right now but a lot of schools are saying the first weekend in December would be a good time to come in," said Barrett. While Cruz says he is wide open to the process, his current top five consists of Florida State, Florida, West Virginia, Nebraska and South Carolina in no particular order.

Cruz's season has been going pretty well, but his team suffered a bit of a setback this past week. "We lost last week to Madison County, but other than that we're doing well. I think the team chemistry can go up some more but I think that this is the week that everybody comes back from a loss ready to prove something. Not to say I didn't want an undefeated season but it's good that you got an eye opener early in the season instead of during the playoffs," said Barrett.

Barrett would like to say he's been playing up to his expectations every game this season but admits some ailments kept him from being 100% at times. "I've been playing and everyone tells me they expect more, but I had a really bad headache before a game recently. I took some medicine and did the best job I could against Madison County, but I'm getting to the point where I'm dominating. Other than that one time, I feel I've performed well," he said.

With a 4-1 start to the season, Cruz is also having a few things pointed out that could help his team into the latter part of the year and into the playoffs. "I know one of my position coaches was talking about my feet movement, I've got to get my feet moving on pass protection. Finishing blocks is another thing especially on pass protection," he said.

We'll be sure to continue to follow Cruz as his season presses on and as his list of schools shrinks further.

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