Intro 2012: LB Michael Barton

Concord (Calif.) De La Salle linebacker Michael Barton has high interest in UCLA and is one of the West's best in the 2012 class...

One of the top defensive prospects in the 2012 class out West will be Concord (Calif.) De La Salle linebacker Michael Barton (6-1, 195).

An all-state selection as a sophomore for the Spartans, Barton starred again as a junior and helped DLS win their second straight CIF State Open Division title.

As one of the key returnees for the Spartans next fall, Barton is already getting attention from numerous schools.

"A lot of schools have been talking with me and sending me letters," said Barton. "I've been hearing a lot from UCLA, LSU, Oregon and Oregon State."

Barton said two of those schools are standing out for him right now.

"I have a lot of interest in UCLA and LSU," said Barton. "I'm going up to Oregon State and then to LSU in February and then to UCLA in the spring."

Barton said most schools look at him as a safety, which he's fine with.

"Most school like me as a safety, but I could play linebacker," said Barton. "When they watch my film, they see I can play up in the box. I've always been a linebacker. But safety is where most want me."

Barton said he wants to go through the recruiting process some before he makes a decision on his future.

"I want to take as much time as I can, and see if the school is the right fit for me," said Barton. "I want to take some visits and I want to make the right choice."

Barton also plans to hit some camps up in the summer.

"Depending on who calls me in April, I'll go out and show them what I have," said Barton.

Barton talked about what another state and section title meant for him and for De La Salle.

"It set in as soon as we won it," said Barton. "It started setting in late in the 4th quarter (against Servite) when we had it in the bag. I was like ‘I can't believe this is happening. We're winning it again.' It was a relief. All that hard work and all that anxiety, it paid off. We don't want to lose again. It's something we don't consciously think about but we think about it."

As a junior, Barton has 72 tackles, three sacks, three pass breakups and a fumble recovery, despite rarely playing a full game with the Spartans blowing teams out.

Academically, he has a 3.2 and will take the SAT in the spring.

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