Calvin Barnett: His Coach's Take

GoPokes.com interviewed the high school coach for each of the Oklahoma State commitments in the days leading up to National Signing Day. In this installment of "His Coach's Take," we visit with Booker T. Washington High School interim head coach Wade Weller about Calvin Barnett, the U.S. Army All-American defensive tackle from Tulsa, Okla.

What are his strengths as a football player?
Wade Weller: His actual strength is his strength, and he's smart. He also quick, and at 325 pounds he's pretty agile and pretty athletic. The thing about him is that when he makes his mind up and plays, he's unstoppable, especially at the high school level, even on the 5A and 6A level he can't be stopped.

What do you believe will be his biggest challenge in going from high school to playing in the Big 12?
Wade Weller: The biggest for him is going to be maturity and growing up. When you're somebody like Calvin, or any type of athlete who has had it easy so to speak because there's nobody at his level, but when you get to a place where everybody is as good as he is, that's going to be the biggest shock. He's not going to be able to blow by people or overpower people like he's been doing. It's just the natural transition from high school to college and all the athletes are now just as big as him, that's going to be his biggest challenge.

Was there one game, or maybe even one play, during his career that you'll always remember?
Wade Weller: The one that I remember comes from his freshman year when we played Jenks, and we were their only loss that year and they went on to win the 6A state championship. But Calvin, as a true freshman, was just dominating all night long. He was in the backfield, and he made a big stop on a fourth-down play. He was just a force in that game.

What are three words that describe him as a football player?
Wade Weller: Tenacious. Dominating. Fearless.

Why do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Wade Weller: It was a good fit for him. In looking at the teams that were looking at him as a player and where he could fit in and maybe contribute as a freshman, it just seemed to be Oklahoma State.

What type of impact to you expect him to have on the OSU football program?
Wade Weller: Well, if he takes care of business, which he is doing right now, then when it's time for a two-a-days then he has the ability to play right away. He has the potential to start right away.

Over the course of his college career, whether it be four or five years, what do you expect him to accomplish?
Wade Weller: Well, anything he wants to. He could play on the defensive line right now as a high school senior. I think the sky is the limit for him. We're talking All-Big 12, All-American type honors.

What will you remember the most about coaching him?
Wade Weller: I know Calvin a little differently than I know the other players because I've known Calvin since he was a little bitty boy. One of his teammates and one of his best friends is my nephew, so I've known him for a very long time. He's been to my house for the holidays, he's been to my in-laws house for the holidays … my father-in-law lives out in the country in Skiatook, so Calvin's been out there picking pecans. I've really known him for a long time. Just not having him around any more, and not just as a football player but as a kid I've known for a long time, is probably going to be the biggest thing that affects me as a coach.

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