Vols eye California QB

Stay tuned to InsideTennessee for all the latest football and recruiting news. Scroll down to read about a up-and-coming four-star prospect from California.

There isn't much film on Class of 2015 quarterback Blake Barnett, but that doesn't seem to matter.

Programs like what they see from what little exists.

The 6-foot-4, 194-pound gunslinger only started one game as a sophomore and has just recently burst onto the scene.

Since, the FOX Sports and Scout four-star nabbed a UCLA offer in late August and has been logging an impressive visitation list, including stops at Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame and a planned trip to Oregon in October.

"I've been absolutely humbled by all of it," Barnett said.

The Corona, Calif., native was on hand to watch the Vols narrowly fall to then sixth-ranked Georgia on Oct. 5.

Barnett described the visit as "fantastic" and said touring Tennessee's newly finished facility was his favorite part.

"The experience this weekend was just overall awesome," Barnett told InsideTennessee. "Yesterday, I got to tour the facilities and athletic offices and everything was very impressive. It was all state of the art. I was very impressed by it – big time."

Besides cheering with the rest of the sellout crowd, Barnett strategically examined Tennessee's offense and took notice of the high number of freshmen who saw playing time.

"I really liked to see that," Barnett said. "It shows that young players can come here and get a chance to play here. Everyone has the equal opportunity for playing time."

Tennessee trotted out 14 freshmen that lukewarm October evening and managed to force overtime against the Bulldogs.

To Barnett, it speaks to the direction he believes the Vols are headed.

"Well, they played a lot of young guys, but it's not like they weren't competing or anything," Barnett said. "This team is only going to get better. I think they'll turn it around."

Barnett also took note of the Vols' aggressive play calling, saying he was "very, very impressed" by three successful fourth down conversion attempts – one coming on a dive, another on a misdirection pitch and the third on a play action pass to freshman tight end A.J. Branisel.

"I loved the play calling. I think it's awesome the confidence the coaches showed in their players and guys," Barnett said. "I was very impressed with coach (Mike) Bajakian's play calling. I thought he did an awesome job."

Bajakian, Tennessee's offensive coordinator, is serving as Barnett's lead recruiter. Barnett complimented Bajakian on more than his play-calling abilities post-game.

"He's just an awesome coach," Barnett told IT. "He's real down to earth, real humble guy. He can talk to you about everything. He's a very nice man."

The Golden State prospect doesn't have a list of top schools or a dream offer.

Barnett has no problem attending a school outside his home state and listed the competitiveness of the Southeastern Conference and the Vols' coaching staff as Tennessee's biggest appeal.

"I think just that they're in the SEC, they play in such a competitive league and I love the coaching staff," Barnett said. "They're great. It's a great program."


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