2009 Prospect Marlion Barnett

Marlion Barnett is an under-sized tight end prospect from Corona (Calif.) Santiago (the same high school as a UCLA signee), and he's been hearing from an elite Big 12 program, and some Pac-10 schools. He says, though, that one school would be his favorite...

Corona (Calif.) Santiago tight end Marlion Barnett (6-3, 205) is ready to emerge as one of the top receiving tight ends in the West.

The teammate of UCLA signee Anthony Dye is also hoping to make a splash with college coaches.

"I've been hearing a lot from Oklahoma," said Barnett. "They invited me to their camp and they're pretty interested. Cal and Washington have also been in contact with me a lot. And Oregon State and UCLA, with Ryan (McCants) and Anthony (Dye) there, they're schools that have been interested in me and I've been interested in them. I've talked with the coaches at both of those schools quite a bit."

Barnett admitted that the Bruins have the edge. "Right now, I'd have to say that UCLA is my favorite school," said Barnett. "They've got a good, new coaching staff with some of the other coaches coming back. I love Coach (DeWaynke) Walker. I talked with him this past year."

Could an offer from UCLA produce a commitment from Barnett? "I could see myself committing early there," said Barnett. "I'd probably keep my options open, though. I want to go through this process. But Anthony and his dad (Mark) have been really helpful through this process and have told me a lot about UCLA. I actually went to the Cal game at the Rose Bowl and was in the locker room after. I'm going to their camp this summer."

Barnett said that Cal was the other school he hopes picks up their interest in him. "I like Cal a lot, too. They've been talking to me a lot."

In terms of a scholarship offer, Barnett said: "I'm not sure when my first offer will come, but I have a feeling it could come soon," said Barnett.

Barnett finished playing basketball for the Sharks, and he was down to 205 pounds during the hoops season, down from his football playing weight of 225. "I'm at 205 now, but I'm getting back into the weight room and trying to get my weight up. I could probably add 25-30 pounds by the season," said Barnett.

That would allow Barnett to get in the 230-235 range, the lower end of tight-end size, where he hopes to play in college. "I love playing offense," said Barnett. "I really love hitting and playing defense and I'll play wherever they put me. But I'd probably like to play tight end or receiver. I'd prefer tight end so I need to get bigger."

This spring, he's planning to attend the Scout.com Combine in Los Angeles and the Nike Camp at Stanford, as well as team camps at Oklahoma and UCLA in the summer.

"I'm excited to go through this process and get a chance to go to these camps and perform against the best," said Barnett. "I'm looking at a lot of things, too, in a college. The location is one and whichever school offers engineering is a big factor."

Barnett carries a 3.3 GPA and will take the SAT for the first time next month.

During his 2007 junior season, Barnett helped the Sharks to the CIF-SS Inland Division Finals with 30 receptions for 400 yards and two touchdowns. He said his yards after the catch average was 13.5.

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