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April 8, 2013

Barnett Sets New Standard in In-State Recruiting

It's certainly a product of today's recruiting age but when you consider that Jalin Barnett's offer from Oklahoma on Thursday was nearly seven months - in the recruiting calendar - earlier than Oklahoma offered eventual All-American and No. 3 overall draft pick Gerald McCoy, it says something about the talent of the 6-foot-4, 310-pound Lawton, Okla. native.

Barnett, who was named SoonerScoop.com's Sophomore of the Year in February, visited Norman on Tuesday and about 36 hours after he departed the Sooners got in touch with Lawton head coach Randy Breeze to pass out their earliest in-state offer in history.

"My coaches took me out of class, and told me in the locker room," Barnett recalled. "Coach Breeze called (Bill Bedenbaugh) for me. I talked to him, for a bit and he was just saying they were real glad to have me up there Tuesday and they were saying they want me to come up there for the spring game and junior day and they saw a chance (by offering me) and they couldn't miss it."

"It was really good, I was really happy."

While on campus with Breeze, Bird said that a noteworthy aspect of his trip was seeing how Oklahoma's offensive line is schematically very similar to his own.

"The practice was good, I saw in practice that they do stuff we do," he said. "It's in the blocking assignments, they do a lot of the same things.

"Also, I watched a little film from practice. I was in the back, (Bedenbaugh) was really talking to them, my offensive line coach coach, he was saying that's what he do. I was watching how they worked as a group, and how they competed. I kind of did pick up on some things - I guess just hand placement.

"Other than that, mainly I just toured, met all the coaches and watched the practice."

As such a young player, it's not currently clear where Barnett will play along the offensive line however, the Sooners couldn't wait to give him the news that even hours after the offer most of his friends and even some family didn't know about yet.

"Most of my friends, don't even know yet," he laughed.

Barnett grew up something of an Oklahoma State fan but admits that being in Norman was a head-turning event for him.

"I guess it's not all black and white. The thing that stood out, was the pace that they went at, that stood out to me."



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