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November 24, 2013

Barnett pops for Irish


Blake Barnett assured that his second visit to Notre Dame in barely a month won’t be his last. The junior quarterback from Corona, Calif., committed to the Irish on Sunday.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound athlete becomes the second verbal commitment secured by the Irish in the junior class, following offensive tackle Jerry Tillery of Shreveport, La. Barnett selected Notre Dame over offers from UCLA, Arizona, Cal, Colorado, Duke, Ole Miss and West Virginia.

“I want to be the next quarterback for Notre Dame,” Barnett told Irish Illustrated via text message “It's the place for me.”

The Midwest trip was Barnett’s second in barely a month after he visited for the USC game in October. The Irish coaching staff offered the first-year varsity starter a scholarship during that weekend and scheduled a return a few weeks later as Barnett’s recruiting profile began to rise nationally.

Barnett made that trek back to South Bend on a red eye flight for what proved to be the coldest Notre Dame home game in almost 20 years as the Irish run the football a season-high 47 times. None of that swayed the quarterback, whose commitment was almost expected around the Guglielmino Athletics Complex before he headed home to California.

Barnett’s first look at Notre Dame helped secure both this weekend’s encore visit and that commitment.

“It was an awesome experience,” Barnett told Irish Illustrated following the October visit. “Awesome time. I got to tour a little bit of the school and go through all of their facilities. Met with coach (Chuck) Martin. Sat down and had a conversation with him and my family was there as well. Going to the game was awesome. Talking to coach (Brian) Kelly before the game was great.
“After the game, going into the locker room and seeing the players and the atmosphere, it was just overall a great experience.”

Look for more with Barnett following his Notre Dame visit, which runs into Monday.





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