Barnett: Team First

Steve Barnett of Jacksonville Bolles High School is considered one of the best running backs in the state of Florida and a team first player. DeaconSports.com recently spoke with Barnett to get his thoughts on the upcoming season and his recruitment.

At 6'0, 190 pounds with 4.47 forty speed, it is no wonder Steve Barnett is considered one of the best running backs in the state of Florida. Barnett is coming off a season in which he totaled 1,208 yards on the ground and 15 touchdowns while averaging almost 9 yards a carry. But there are much more than stats when it comes to Steve Barnett.

"Stats are just numbers," Barnett said. "It is all about the team and our success. We worked hard last season but came up a little short in the playoffs. I had a great offensive line last season and great coaches and I am really proud of the team."

"This season our goal is to win the state title," he continued. "We are replacing the whole offensive line but the guys that are stepping in this year played quite a bit last season and I have confidence in them and expect our running game to be strong again this season. No Bolles football team has never won back-to-back titles and we want to lay the foundation for that to happen this year."

When asked about his strengths as a player, Barnett responded, "I don't want to sound conceited but I think I have good vision. I also love to study the game and my opponent and attack their weak spot wherever it is. I also give a lot of credit to my coaches and teammates. We have a great program here at Bolles."

As far as recruiting goes, Barnett is getting a lot of well deserved attention. "It seems like I am on quite a few mailing lists. I am being recruited as a running back, receiver, and defensive back depending on the school. I don't have any firm offers yet but I am hearing a lot from Wake Forest, Illinois, and Vanderbilt as well as some others."

When asked who is recruiting him the hardest at this point Barnett replied, "I would say I am hearing the most from Wake right now. I was up there with our punter Alex Wulfeck a few weeks ago to watch spring practice."

Barnett had a lot of great things to say about the Demon Deacon program. "I am really attracted to Wake. I have always heard great things about Wake and they all seem to be true. They have a fantastic coaching staff there and the players are like a family. Every time I have visited Wake the players ask me what's up and how things are going. They all have a real sense of pride about the program. The academics there are top notch as well and they have a great medical program. I also love the 11:1 student to teacher ratio. Plus, if I go to Wake it won't be hard to find a ride home."

Although he has yet to receive a offer from Wake, the coaches are keeping in close contact with him. "Coach Elrod is recruiting me and he has said they want a chance to see me in person this spring before they offer. We have spring practice beginning next month and our spring game is tentatively scheduled for May 22nd so we will see what happens."

Barnett also mentioned the recent renovations to BB&T Field. "Wow," he said. "I always thought the field looked good but I was able to see the renovations they are doing to the stadium and they look amazing."

Barnett also has a eventful spring and summer planned. "Next Sunday I am going to the Nike camp and I am getting ready for spring practice which coming up. Also my dad is getting deployed to Iraq soon for two months, then he will be bringing his squadron back to Hawaii where they will be stationed this summer. I am going to visit him there this summer so I probably won't make it to any camps it just depends on my schedule. My coaches at Bolles don't like us to miss any summer workout sessions so I am going to work out with the Marines while I am visiting my dad."

With his combination of hard work, athletic ability, and team first attitude look for the offers to start coming in soon for Barnett. He is the type of player that will always work on improving his game and will do whatever his team needs him to do. Look for big things from Steve Barnett and his teammates this season.

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