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February 20, 2010Oklahoma's junior day, unlike many other programs, is a low-key event that searches as much to inform recruits about the program as earn commitments. In fact many of the out-of-state visitors are seeing the campus for the first time. As such it's no surprise that the Sooners rarely pick up commitments during the day and even when Euless (Texas) Trinity tight end Chris Barnett made his choice, it came as a surprise to himself as well as to Bob Stoops.
The 6-foot-6, 245-pound pass-catching tight end says he came to Norman knowing that he liked the Sooners but also says that a commitment wasn't really on his mind.
Perhaps that confusion led to Stoops' surprise.
"I knew they were a good school and all but it was kind of both, I thought I could commit but it surprised me a little," Barnett said.
"I was talking to coach (Kevin) Wilson and we were just off on the side and I had been in the office and was talking to coach Stoops. He said you know when you come down to picking a school pick the school that is best for you and no one else. He said it because he had no idea," he chuckled.
"Coach Wilson told me, Chris tell him what you think about OU, and I told him I'm going to commit and (Stoops) jumped up and pulled me up and shook my hand about 12 times. He was real excited."
Wilson and Stoops then came out to relay the news to fellow 2011 commitments Kendal Thompson and Kameel Jackson.
"All of us were sitting around and there were other guys like Anthony Wallace, and we talked to Trey Metoyer. I know those guys haven't committed but it felt like the future of the program was all right there," he said.
"I have been up there a couple of times, this might have been my third time. Being up there and around the people, I felt like I belonged. Not just football wise but academics, everything meshed together perfectly for me."
As a player that has been covered since early in his sophomore season most know that Barnett has had various favorites throughout the last 18 mos. so it stands to reason that some will wonder about the solidity of his commitment.
"My commitment is solid, but I'm not going to limit myself, I'm not going to flirt with other schools but I'm going to keep my eyes and ears open," he tried to explain. "The Alabamas, Miamis, Texas, and USCs, those are great schools that I've closed myself to. I've got to continue to get to know Oklahoma and the more I do, the more comfortable I'll become.
"It's more of a deal if something goes wrong, I don't want to have closed all doors."
In speaking to his comfort with the Sooners, the trip was Barnett's third to campus. That being said Oklahoma still had some new things to show their new tight end commitment.
"They had updated their locker room and the dormitories are going to be bigger and more spacious, more like apartments, suites. That was real interesting," he said. "And this time we actually got to go around the campus some more. We got to see the monuments and everything."
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