Chris Barnett is Wide Open

A. Maceo Smith finished 2008 with a 6-4 record overall after playing numerous underclassmen in key roles. The 2009 season looks to be improved and Chris Barnett will be a key component of that improvement. Burnt Orange Beat spoke with Barnett about his summer and what he is looking for from his possible schools.

As the son of a Texas high school football coach and the brother of a Football Bowl Subdivision player (Eryon, Texas Longhorns 2009), Chris Barnett is familiar with the recruiting process. Over the next two seasons, Chris will get even more familiar with the process.

As a sophomore, Barnett played on offense and defense and notched eleven receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown while also tallying 71 tackles, seven TFLs, and two sacks.

This summer, Barnett visited several schools in anticipation of numerous official offers that are expected on September 1.

"I went to Kansas (camp), Oklahoma (unofficial), and, we were going to go to a couple of other places but with 7-on-7 stuff, we never got a chance," Barnett told Burnt Orange Beat.

In addition to those two, Barnett visited his brother in Austin. Eryon moved to Austin in June for his freshman year.

"I went down to Austin a couple of weeks ago to see me brother. It was mainly just to go see him. It wasn't like a camp or anything. I watched him to see what he is going through. I wanted to see what I would be going through my first year in college," the younger Barnett said.

Since Barnett excelled on both sides of the ball as a sophomore, it is a natural question to wonder where the colleges are projecting the star athlete.

"Everybody is looking at me both ways, since last year, I started on offense (TE) and defense (LB/DE). Most schools are saying you play both well so when you come in, we will give you a look at both spots. Where ever you fit, that's where you'll play, added Barnett.

Barnett does not have a position preference on the next level either.

"It doesn't matter to me. I just want to play football. I want to go somewhere that if I am playing tight end, I am going to get the ball. Schools like Oklahoma, Tennessee, Miami, Florida, Kansas – those are higher priority schools. If I play linebacker, you can make it to the league from anywhere."

Barnett reports verbal offers from Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, Miami, Kansas, Wake Forest, Oregon, Oklahoma State, Florida, Utah, and TCU. So, does he have a favorite?

"I am pretty open, but I have a list of favorites. My number one school would be Miami. Number two would be Oklahoma. Number three would be Tennessee. Number four would be USC. Number five could be anybody."

How about the in-state Texas Longhorns?

"Texas has always been a school I liked since I grew up in Texas, but what they do with their tight ends in the next couple of years will determine whether I go there. What they do my junior and senior years will determine where they fall," answered Barnett.

Barnett says that he will likely wait until well into my senior year before making any decisions.

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