February 28, 2012

Star QB looking to visit

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Ohio State is scouring the nation for the top quarterback prospects as the Buckeyes look to take at least one and possibly two signal callers in the 2013 class. Wichita Falls (Tex.) Rider dual-threat prospect J.T. Barrett is among the top targets on Ohio State's board at the position. The 6-foot-1, 209-pounder was offered recently by the Buckeyes.

"I was on the phone with coach (Tom) Herman," explained Barrett. "He was just kind of introducing himself to me and we were talking for a while and then he said 'somebody else wants to talk to you' and it was Urban Meyer. I was just like 'wow' this is the guy I watched on television last season doing the ESPN analysis and things like that, it was crazy."

After asking Barrett what he knew about Meyer's coaching career, it was clear that he had done his homework.

"I know that he went undefeated at Utah that one season and that Alex Smith was the first overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft," Barrett explained. "He went to Florida and won two national championships in five years and had some health issues that were probably stress related and he stepped away from the game last year and he got the job at Ohio State. When he offered me a scholarship I was just like 'oh my, things just got more serious'."

With the offer, Ohio State is a school that Barrett says he is interested in finding out more about and he came away impressed by his conversation with the Buckeye's head coach.

"I'm very interested," he said. "I guess you could say I was like a little kid talking to a big celebrity or something (in regards to his conversation with Meyer). When I was talking to him he was very cool and collected, I was rushing my words, it was really crazy."

Barrett's interest is such that he is hoping to fly up to Columbus on an unofficial visit in the very near future.

"I'm supposed to visit on the 12th of March," he said. "We have spring break that week and I was talking to my Dad and we're trying to buy a plane ticket to get up there. I'm just going to be looking for that home and family environment with the coaches and the players. Also the college town feel of Ohio State University and Columbus. I want that college town feel, I'd say that is the biggest thing."

The Buckeyes will have plenty of competition for Barrett's services as he holds plenty of impressive offers and is receiving interest from some of the premier programs in the nation.

"I have offers from Texas Tech, Nebraska, Baylor, North Texas, Ohio State, LSU, Arizona, Ole Miss, and Illinois," he said. "I'm pretty wide open."

While it is often assumed that quarterbacks out of the state of Texas will stay fairly close to home, Barrett insists that location will not play much of a factor into his final decision.

"It's not a factor," he said. "I feel that wherever that place may be that I need to go play college football, I'm sure God will direct me to that place so whether it be Florida, or Oregon or Washington, location won't matter. I think that wherever I go that my family will be able to watch me."

As for a time table on a decision, Barrett is hoping to do enough research in the next few months to be able to end his recruitment before his senior season.

"I've been looking at it and I would like to decide before my senior season," he said. "I've been looking at mid-summer or late summer because I want to focus on getting my team to a state championship. I'm definitely going to visit some places before I commit. If that means taking a lot of unofficial visits then that's what I've got to do."

Barrett is coming off an ultra-productive junior season that saw him both rush and pass for over 1,500 yards and account for 21 touchdowns.


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