Back to Aquinas

With the team not only being crowned the Florida Class 5A state champions but the mythical national champions in 2008, St. Thomas Aquinas is bound to have some good football players. After getting two players to come to Madison this fall, Wisconsin continues to hit the school hard, this time offering offensive tackle Jermaine Barton

MADISON – From the looks of his early spring work, assistant coach Charlie Partridge seems to be doing his best to establish a pipeline in southern Florida.

In Fort Lauderdale is St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Florida's Class 5A state champion and ranked by national syndicates as the 2008 national champion. Off that dominant defense, Coach Partridge got commitments for the 2009 class from linebacker Conor O'Neill and safety Dezmen Southward.

For this recruiting class, Partridge is busy at Aquinas again, as the third-year Badger assistant has offered linebacker Vinnie Mauro, cornerback Cody Riggs, running back James White and now offensive tackle Jermaine Barton.

"I don't know a lot right now about the Badgers except a few people from my school, Conor and Dez, are going their next year," Barton told Badger Nation. "They both think that it's really nice up there and a good atmosphere. I haven't done a lot of research on it myself."

Even so, when he was told that his fourth scholarship offer was from Wisconsin, Barton (6-foot-5, 275 pounds) was not thrown for a loop.

"I wasn't really surprised by the offer because the day that Charlie Partridge came down to the school, he talked to my head coach about me and what I can do," Barton said. "He said that I was big, athletic, that I have good footwork and long arms. He said a lot of good things about me, so I was thinking he was going to offer me."

Although his offer list is small now, with his other offers coming from Connecticut, Florida International and Purdue, Barton has been talking to coaches from Arkansas, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Miami and, his childhood favorite, Florida, who is his favorite school right now.

"I am trying to finish up school here, but I am going to go to a one-day camp in Gainesville," Barton said of his summer plans. "Other than that, I am not sure what I am going to do. Florida is my favorite. I talked to the coaches yesterday and they told me to come to camp, they would show me around and go from there. An offer from them would mean a lot from them."

Whether Barton is a Gator lock remains to be seen but for right now, he's just happy to have gotten four offers and getting the attention and interest to continue his football career.

"I didn't think that I would get this big to where I am talking to Florida and other big schools," he said. "We have a lot of good players here that are getting attention from schools and it's nice to be one of them."


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