Welcome to Fayetteville: Chris Barnett
The Razorbacks got more than a win towards their SEC standings on Saturday after their 14-point win over the Rebels (Bears?). They also got a “W” on the recruiting trail, earning a verbal commitment from a stud tight end out of Hurst, Texas in Chris Barnett. Apparently the Hurst Bell standout loves long games and rainy days, because he was in Fayetteville on an official visit for the game on Saturday and still decided to pull the trigger for the Hogs. However, he had also visited campus earlier this year in July for the Razorbacks’ Elite Camp. As commit #21 in the class of 2011, Barnett is one of Arkansas’ most highly regarded recruits to date, choosing the Hogs over Oregon and Miami, and also boasting offers from Alabama, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Notre Dame, Stanford, USC, and UCLA. He is actually an Oklahoma decommit, after previously committing verbally to the Sooners in February of his junior year.
Rivals — 4*, #15 TE
Scout — 4*, #8 TE
ESPN — 3*, #20 TE
Barnett is listed between 6′ 4″ and 6′ 6″ and reportedly runs a 4.52 40-yard dash at 250 pounds. Even if a slight embellishment, he’s clearly a heck of an athlete, and a big kid. Rivals.com lists Barnett’s route running skills and his soft hands as his biggest strengths and expects him to be a candidate for early playing time. I haven’t been able to find much as far as accurate stats go, but that is not highly unusual for a tight end – especially one that also lines up on the other side of the ball. After hitting the camp circuit this summer, he was named to the BadgerSports All-America 2nd Team.
Impact on the Class of 2011
Interestingly, Barnett is the third tight end in this class, joining Jervohnte Riles (Bessemer, AL – 3*, 3*, 4*) and Demetrius Dean (Fayetteville, AR – 3*, 3*, 4*). However, he seems to be the most highly touted, and the rangy Riles (6′ 4″ 211) is often listed as an athlete who could potentially line up at wide receiver or even outside linebacker. Even though Barnett plays DE in high school, he’s likely a lock to be the Razorbacks’ next athletic outside threat at the TE position. And with him and Dean (and possibly Riles) one would think that Petrino’s staff is done recruiting tight ends for this year.
– Warzecha –