Barnett sees interest pick up

Multi-talented wideouts are a hot commodity in college football and one of the most versatile in the Juco ranks this year is Orange Coast WR Nathan Barnett (6-0, 192). The Pirates produce lots of D-1 talent and Barnett is a player that has flown under the radar up until very recently and now he's starting to garner the attention of a So Cal school and he may take a visit there very soon.

"San Diego State is talking to me and they want me to come down for a visit," Barnett said. "They said they'd like me to come down after spring finishes up so, since I live down here I'll head down for a day or two and check out their facilities and their football stuff and meet the staff.

"They have a senior slot receiver that will graduate next year so they are looking for someone to come in an replace him and they said they'd like it to be a mid-year guy so that helps me out a lot."

Barnett is also hearing from Arizona State, Kentucky and Wyoming and said he's open to anyone who wants to recruit him and he will be in Los Angeles at the JC Combine at Citrus College.

"I'm hoping the combine next weekend (May 12th) will really help my status," Barnett said. "I just want as many options as possible to choose from."

Barnett comes from a good football family. His father, Mike Carney, played football at Notre Dame in the late 1970s and was on the team that was quarterbacked by Joe Montana.

"I got to meet him a couple of time and he is a great guy," Barnett said. "He and my dad played together and I got an autograph on my book when I saw him.

"My dad has some funny stories about (Montana) and their time at Notre Dame together."

His uncle John also played for the Irish and was widely considered one of the best kickers in the NFL in the late 90's.

Barnett prepped at Dana Hills High School in California and was recruited by Colorado out of high school, but he said he just wasn't ready for big-time college life.

"I wasn't really ready to leave and so I didn't even take the SATs or the ACTs," Barnett admitted. "I needed that time to just sort of ease myself into it so I decided to go to Saddleback, but in the second game I got hit perfectly and I fractured my spine.

"I needed to move to another school after that so I looked around and my old coach, Scott Orloff, was the defensive coordinator down here so I decided to come and play at OCC."

As a first-year player for the Pirates this past season, he caught 12 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns and had 540 yards on kickoff returns, including two touchdowns both for 97 yards.

"Last year I played in the slot, but this year they said they want to move me outside and have me make more plays out there," Barnett, who runs a 4.49 forty, said. "As far as stuff I want to work on it's my strength (he has a 285 pound bench) and improve my blocking.

"I know that when a running back breaks a long run, it's because receivers are doing their job in the secondary blocking guys. I need to get better at that and also work on getting more agile and run better and crisper routes."

Because Barnett received a medical redshirt for the 2005 season, he will have two years to play two wherever he ends up. He also said he plans to major in Criminal Justice.

We'll have more from Barnett as the summer gets underway.

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