Yaniv Barnett, a three-year starter along the defensive line at Samuel Clemens High School in Schertz, Texas, has never been to Wisconsin's campus before. "That is a long way from Texas," the affable Barnett said.
Barnett, though, has long held interest in playing football for the Badgers.
"I'm very interested in Wisconsin," Barnett said. "They play good football. I like the coaching staff. I like the players."
The Badgers have plenty of reasons to like Barnett, a highly thought of defensive tackle and end in the San Antonio area. At 6-3, 285, Barnett has the size to play at the college level and can also boast athleticism. Barnett runs a 4.9 40-yard dash and is used as a tight end in short yardage situations, where he is employed as an additional blocker.
"They don't want to waste me on offense because I'm already a defensive starter and they already have tight ends to do all that," Barnett said in reference to the possibility of catching passes.
Clemens is enjoying a very successful season this year. After defeating Churchill 31-13 Friday, the Buffaloes locked up their first playoff berth since 1999; their first trip to the postseason since joining Class 5A football in the 2000 season.
"I've been here for three years, and this is my first time in the playoffs," Barnett told the San Antonio Express-News. "Coming so close so many times, it hurt. Missing out by a point here and a point there made it hard to swallow."
Clemens is now 8-1 with one regular season contest remaining and is ranked third in the most recent Express-News San Antonio-area Class 5A football ratings.
Barnett, meanwhile, plans to take his visits prior to making a college decision.
Of his visits, Barnett said, "I'm looking to see the colleges. The coaching staffs and the defensive line coach, and academics and stuff like that."
"I like coach Palermo, he seems pretty cool. Very easy to talk to, all of them are," Barnett said.
"Coach Alvarez is a very good coach. He kind of reminds me of my coach here in high school. My dad likes him too."