Entering his junior season it looked like Lawton (Okla.) High offensive guard Jalin Barnett was going to be the top prospect in the state.
Following his junior season, nothing has changed. Barnett has put in the work and still remains the No. 1 prospect within the state for the Class of 2015 and No. 1 in SoonersIllustrated.com's top 25 OKPreps prospects for 2015.
Barnett, ranked No. 80 in the Scout 300 and No. 4 offensive guard, is clearly near the top of the board for Oklahoma. The Sooners approached Barnett back in the spring with an earlier than normal offer, and Barnett has been a frequent visitor to Norman.
He made one more trip to OU three weeks ago for OU's first junior day. Other visits have seen OU take some interest in Barnett, while focusing on other kids and priorities. Not this time around.
"It really did feel different," Barnett said. "It was like they were devoted to trying to get me to commit before I left."
Barnett didn't leave the campus committed to the Sooners, but he has no problems admitting it crossed his mind a couple of times.
It's a tough situation for Barnett to juggle and a spot a lot of top-ranked kids in the state have had to go through over the years.
Sometimes you know like with wide receiver Sterling Shepard in the Class of 2012. There was no doubt Shepard would be a Sooner. Sometimes you have to play the field and see what else is out there like safety Steven Parker. He explored all options before committing to OU a day before signing day this month.
"He's a kid that likes being at home," Lawton coach Randy Breeze said. "He's such a good kid, down-to-earth as they come. He has been handling this process so well. He stays so humble. You watch him play, and there's really nothing he can't do."
Barnett entered the season 6-foot-4 and 290 pounds, but he said he's closer to 6-4 and 310 pounds now. It feels like Barnett is leaning toward OU, but academics could play a role down the line.
"I went into that visit and didn't know what I was going to do," Barnett said. "I'm just not sure right now. I don't even know what I'm majoring in right now."
OU offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh has developed a great relationship with Barnett and his family. And during junior day, the coaches made sure to reach out to Barnett as much as possible to let him know he's wanted.
Barnett said he doesn't have plans on attending any other junior days at this time. That could change. OU is having its second one next week and nothing would make fans happier than a return trip from the four-star lineman.
"It was great up there," Barnett said. "I had so much fun. I don't know what my favorite part was. I liked all of it really. It was amazing."