Last night I spoke with Michael Barnett (Woodland High School in Dorchester, South Carolina) about his recruitment, which he opened back up last Thursday. Barnett is a 6-5, 248 pound, 4-star prospect as rated by both Rivals.com and 247Sports. He's being recruited to play defensive end, but also plays left tackle and is the center on Woodland's basketball team. He had been committed to Virginia Tech since late last November.
"They were on me from the get go. They were the first ones to offer me. They've been there the whole process."
Barnett received an offer from Nick Saban and Alabama last Wednesday, which had many fans incorrectly concluding that was the catalyst for decommitting from Virginia Tech.
"Everybody thinks it's because Alabama offered that I decommitted, but it's not. That reason is because I didn't think of the broadcasting standpoint," he emphatically told me.
Barnett plans to pursue a major in broadcasting and committed to the Hokies prior to investigating Virginia Tech's academic offering.
Barnett's considering scholarship offers from Clemson, NC State, Florida State, Florida, Georgia Tech, Alabama, and Virginia Tech. He said of the Hokies, "They're still that number one school."
As of right now, he plans on visiting a Virginia Tech spring practice, Florida State junior day, and Georgia Tech because he'll be in Atlanta for a Nike Camp.
Now that he's pumped the brakes a bit, Barnett conveyed to me he'll be taking the recruiting process slow; doing his due diligence to visit and evaluate the schools that are interested in him.