Barnett Is Bigger, More Powerful As A Junior

Early during the 2012 season, while watching a Lawton-Choctaw game, I was told to check out number 77 on the Lawton sidelines. I though that Jalin Barnett was a senior the first time I saw him. After all, he was 6-4, 290 pounds and mature looking. I was floored when I was told he was a sophomore. Barnett is now a junior, and at 6-4 1/2, 325 pounds he is learning about being an offensive lineman.

After the Wolverines 47-13 win over a good Southmoore team last Friday, Lawton head coach Randy Breeze told his players that they aren't just a good team but potentially a great team.

"I mean I agree with him and we couldn't have played any better tonight," said Jalin Barnett. "I kind of started off slow but I picked it up toward the end."

Barnett is big but he moves his feet well. For him, the test each night is how quick he can get his pad level down to make full use of the strength and power, the explosion he brings to the field. Breeze said he has been proud of the way Barnett is developing.

"I love pancakes and I love knockdowns too," added Barnett, who is a big reason that running back Michael Warren has come from under the radar to a full fledged college prospect. "It's amazing how Warren runs the ball. He scores on busted plays. I love blocking for him and I love pancakes where I can lay on top of the defensive player and watch him run downfield."

Warren has emerged as a senior, rushing for 207 yards on 23 carries the other night at Southmoore. He now has 151 carries for 1,351 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns on the season.

Barnett has paved the way for the start of a lot of those scoring plays. Warren's drawback will be his academics as he has work to do. That will not be a problem in recruiting for Barnett as Breeze reports with pride that his big offensive lineman is an honor student.

"I take my grades very serious," added Barnett.

He is also taking the opportunity this season very serious. He'll have another year of high school but there are some very talented seniors on this Wolverines team, and now is the time if they are going to bust up the Jenks and Union party in winning Class 6A football championships.

"I hope we get the two home games at the end and we win the gold ball," he said.

Barnett already has scholarship offers from Auburn, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Stanford, Texas State, Texas Tech and UCLA with interest from many others including Oklahoma State and Tulsa in state.

"It's amazing to know how every school wants to be a part of me and they are interested in me," said Barnett in a softer tone. "Me being an offensive lineman, I just think it is very cool how they all want me to be at their school. I don't really have any favorites. Right now, I'm interested in all the schools."

Barnett said he will look to start checking schools out with junior days and unofficial visits, but that will wait as there are more blocks to be made and pancakes to be served the rest of this season.

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