Barnett enjoys another trip to OU

Offensive lineman Jalin Barnett looks to be the top in-state prospect for the Class of 2015 and OU is doing all it can to keep him home.

Everything regarding how Oklahoma has put more of an emphasis on recruiting in-state prospects earlier and earlier can be summed up with Lawton (Okla.) High offensive lineman Jalin Barnett.

A Class of 2015 prospect, there used to be a time where Barnett wouldn't have been so high on OU's priority list. That's not the case anymore. Barnett, considered by most to be the top in-state prospect for the class, made his fourth trip to OU in four months when he visited last week.

OU fans are clamoring for a commit, but Barnett is sticking to his story that he's going to take it easy and wait until much later in his recruitment.

"Everything went real well," Barnett said. "I talked with [Bob] Stoops, and he was real happy I showed up. He said he hopes I'll come back."

OU opens the season Aug. 31 against Louisiana Monroe, and Barnett said he plans to be there. It is the hope of Stoops and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh that Barnett is at every OU home game this season.

Barnett got quality one-on-one time with Bedenbaugh at OU's camp in June, and he continues to be in consistent contact with Bedenbaugh. It wasn't smooth sailing at OU's camp, but that's to be expected since it was Barnett's first camp.

"I just wanted to see how everything was," Barnett said. "We covered some stuff we do at Lawton, and there was a lot of stuff with footwork. I learned a lot and enjoyed it."

A lot of top 2015 prospects spent this summer exploring the country. Not so much with Barnett. He has visited OU four times. Every other school? Once. OU has the edge but that doesn't mean he's locked in with the Sooners.

Barnett took a visit to Texas Tech this summer, and the Red Raiders were among the first schools to offer Barnett in the spring. Barnett received a major offer last month when Stanford entered the mix. That offer has certainly opened his eyes, said Lawton coach Randy Breeze.

"Stanford has really sold him on education, and I don't think Jalin has been pursued that way before," Breeze said. "Schools like Stanford and Michigan don't come to Oklahoma often, and they don't come to Lawton. Jalin has handled this real well."

Auburn is another school to recently offer Barnett. He might not be visible on the camp circuit, but there's no stopping his recruitment as the offers continue to pile up.

The OU visits have helped keep him grounded, though. It took observers less than a second to figure out who Barnett was at OU's camp because of his 6-foot-4, 300-pound frame. At OU, he would just be another one of the guys.

"I don't see a lot of guys bigger than me so that was something different," Barnett said. "It keeps me focused. It lets me know I'm not done. There's still a lot more work to do."

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