February 20, 2012

WF Rider QB Barrett racking up offers

A few months ago, Wichita Falls Rider quarterback J.T. Barrett told his coach not to worry.

The 6-foot-2, 210 pound Barrett, who combined for 3,100 yards and 21 touchdowns last season, hadn't received the kind of interest from college programs Rider coach Jim Garfield expected, even though he sent out film and had spoken with several college coaches about his up-and-coming signal caller.

There's no worries anymore as eventually the offers did come in and came in a big way. Ohio State, LSU and North Texas offered last week to add to a list that included the likes of Nebraska and Texas Tech.

"He was questioning himself and wondering if he did the right things so I could be exposed," Barrett said. "I told him, 'The [offers] are going to come and when they do we'll be ready.'"

Barrett said he was impressed after speaking with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer last week and said he has followed Meyer since his days at Florida, where he won two national championships.

Another program showing interest as of late is TCU. Barrett spoke with TCU safeties coach Chad Glasgow a few weeks ago.

"I talked to coach Glasgow and he invited me to their junior day but I had some things planned so I didn't have a chance to do down there," Barrett said.

"He was telling me that he watched my film and he really likes my skill set and he said that we should be able to keep on getting to know each other."

As for which schools he is favoring at this point in his recruitment?

"Ohio State and LSU and Texas Tech," he said.

Barrett has been studying the Red Raiders for some time now and recently attended the Red Raiders' junior day.

"I went down there for a junior day and felt very welcome and also they were the first school to offer me a scholarship so I think that will be a consideration," he said.

When it comes to making his college decision, Barrett said a few factors will be in play.

"When I talk to coaches, I pay attention to what they're saying and one of the things I look for is the keyword: winning championships - national championships," he said.

"I love winning and that is one of the reasons why I play football is because I love to win. And I feel like if your program is rallied around winning, that's where I want to be."

A strong relationship with a coaching staff is also important.

"I look forward to getting to know the coaches. The coaches at my high school are like fathers to me and I want that same relationship at the college I go to.
And if I enjoy the college-town feel - if a town is rallied around the college. Those are the things I'll factor into my decision.

"But I think No. 1 would be is a college trying to win games or trying to win championships and I think that is a big thing to me. If winning championship isn't the ultimate goal, then what's the point?"

Barrett will attend Texas' junior day this weekend and plans to make one additional stop this spring.

"On March 22, I think Baylor is having their pro day and I would like to go to that," he said.

He attended Oklahoma's games against Texas and Missouri last season and has some additional ties to the major conference closest to home.

Texas Tech receiver Eric Ward and Oklahoma State safety Markelle Martin, both of whom starred at Rider before him, have been in Barrett's ear, telling him about what life in the Big 12 is all about.

But Barrett said conference affiliation likely won't have an effect on his recruitment and he would prefer to make his choice sometime before his senior season.

During Rider's first game last year, Barrett went head to head with eventual Texas Tech signee Clayton Nicholas and held his own, leading his team back from a 28-point deficit and scoring the game-deciding two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter.

As for what occupies his spare time?

"In my free time, I enjoy playing Call of Duty," he said. "That and sleeping. I really don't go out much."

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