Hokies Remain Barnett's Leader

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.

Michael's film is available on his Hudl.

Contact the editor about this post anytime by phone: (703) 646-1931 or mail: 3057 Nutley St Suite 633, Fairfax, Virginia 22031.


Just tell me when to enter panic mode and I'll do it.

"Yeah, it do." - Mike Vick

He seems like a thoughtful kid who just got caught up in the moment. And he's definitely skilled enough to justify continued recruitment. I guess he wants to go into sports journalism after school?

Seems to be the hot excuse for not coming to VT..."They don't have my major!"

First Hand, now Barnett....


That's not what he said at all. He never told me, "They don't have my major." The subtlety is he committed before he investigated what the offering was.

Does VT offer a major in broadcasting?

Reality has a mighty pimp hand.

If we don't have his major, I can almost guarantee that GT won't as well.

Syracuse if I remember has a really good sports journalism school. No idea who else does.

I could be wrong but I believe Syracuse offers the introductory courses/seminars that all former athletes turned announcers/analysts/anchors that work for ESPN take.

I was thinking about majoring in sports journalism when I was a senior in high school. My college counselor told me (granted this was in 2005) that the majority of the major sports writers came from Syracuse & Northwestern. Northwestern (Mike Greenberg, Mike Wilbon, Darren Rovell, JA Adande etc.) and Syracuse (Bob Costas, Mike Tircio, Dick Stockton) both have tons of alumni working at ESPN.

Then again, a lot of the big sportswriters/commentators I know came from small schools (Bill Simmons, Holy Cross, Skip Bayless, Vanderbilt, Tony Kornheinser, Binghamton, Bomani Jones, Clark Atlanta)...to be blunt, I don't know how good the comm program at VT is in comparison to some of the other schools out there. I doubt it's to the point where it can dramatically help or hurt Barnett from a sports media standpoint.

Samantha Ponder was at Liberty around the same time I was there, don't think I ever met her though.

Bill Roth = Syracuse! He could come to Tech & become Bill's protege in the off season/graduate school.

How 'bout Brian M., you got any thoughts?

We do have a journalism major however which ultimately can be translated into sports journalism. Just look at Colin Carroll. He is a sports journalist now.

Exactly....and if he is interested in broadcasting, then why isn't he considering Syracuse? I don't buy it.

Probably because even though academics are important, he'd still like to win a game or two while he's there.

Are you being that naive here?

Like how any other intelligent human makes a big decision, he's considering all of the factors. His prospective major isn't the only thing he's basing his decision on, it's part of the equation.

Again with Hand? Forget about him. We made to the top five of arguably the best player in the country. At the end of the day, he made the decision go play for the the best football program in the country instead of us. He didn't want to be a dick so he said "Virginia Tech didn't offer my major" instead of revealing the real reason why he didn't want to come here.

He also said Bud Foster was his favorite defensive coordinator.

Seriously "they didn't have my major" is the "I'd like to still be friends" of the recruiting world. He's gone, move on.

Related: I really need to create a bourbon called "Get Over It".

I'm already going to Hell. At this point it's pretty much "Go big or go home."

They did. It's called bourbon.

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech


Sigh...I wanted to major in broadcasting as well, and while Tech's Comm department does have studio production courses, it's just not a strong course area for the school. Unfortunate, but hopefully it will be enough for Barnett to still come through.


Um, Hoda Kotb is a TV journalist? That is about all I can find unless you count Rob's sister from Hot Tub Time Machine as VT alums going onto TV.

Viva El Guapo

This is my first post although I've been reading for years!!! I just had to chime in! Jummy Olabanji, current anchor of Good Morning Washington and WJLA 7 News at Noon, is a Virginia Tech alum!! She was my roommate for 3 years at Tech so I had to give her some credit :)

Welcome, turkey leg to get you started.

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

So essentially, we need to get Hoda into Blacksburg for a recruiting event and talk to Barnett.

Orlando Salinas is a Blacksburg native. He got quite a bit of national airtime as a Miami-based correspondent for Fox News. He recently took a job a local network job in Roanoke, I think to be closer to family. But...he went to VCU, so none of this information is relevant at all.

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

What's wrong with Orlando? I've only seen him on TV a handful of times, mostly covering tropical storms in Florida. I thought he gave an apt analysis.

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

Well if you were in my line of business and saw how the man treated your co-workers you would feel the same way. As for as turkey legs go I will take the hit on them. Orlando is notorius for slandering our LE and Public service people, thus I can't stand him or support anything he does.

Yeah, I like Orlando... sort of a local version of Geraldo Rivera. :-)

'Its easy to grin, when your ship comes in, and you've got the stock market beat,
but the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat'

not sure that's something you should downvote. he just brought up a guy's name. Your beef is that he is actually an asshole behind the scenes. it's not like petebuddywilson said the guy was a saint. only that he was a dude from virginia in broadcasting.

I think this kid is awesome. He has the presence of mind to realize he made a snap decision. He realized how all those interested in that kind of call are impacted. He has the courage and integrity to withdraw his over reach and say, "I still need to evaluate."

This is a kid I want. T

his is a guy that not only has a thought process, but displays integrity as well. He is the whole package mentally. And if he wants to be a Hokie, nothing can stop him from dominating the Universe.

So I say, "Good on you young man for taking a step to pause and reflect. Good on you young man surveying your future. Good on you young man. You look and sound like a Hokie."

Fortune Favors the Bold

I just wish we could change the terminology: when a junior says, "I think I'll go to Tech!" we should call that a statement of intent, not a commitment. When National Signing Day rolls around and a senior signs a letter that says he's going to Tech, we should call that a letter of commitment, not a letter of intent.

"And if he wants to be a Hokie, nothing can stop him from dominating the Universe."

Wow, just Wow...., wishing this for all of us!

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

This is good news. He seems like a good kid who just got caught up in the process and committed early. Hopefully he will be a Hokie when it's all said and done but I applaud him for deciding to take his time and look at his options.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

I'm already going to Hell. At this point it's pretty much "Go big or go home."

I'll award turkey legs for appropriate Scrubs references til the day I die.

I wish all athletes would consider what school they want to go to based on what they want to study and how good the school is in that particular area. It would lead to more money being spent on academic departments, which everyone gets to use, and better the school as a school. In the end, these kids are being paid with a scholarship to study so this should always be reason number one for a recruit. Good for him.

The reason I chose Tech was because it makes a hell of a better engineer than GT, NCSU and Clemson. I think Vincent Mihota and Travon McMillian would agree.

"Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?"

Unfortunately GT is better than VT at engineering.

"Go Hokies!" - Thomas Jefferson

According to the silly rankings that come out, yes. As a VT engineer myself, I don't think we're any less capable than an engineer from GT (and some of their engineers love to let it go to their heads).


That is GT, they can do that...

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Seems like Alabama is able to convince players to decommit from our program and then use the academics of the school as a convenient excuse. This strategy shouldn't even be effective because Alabama isn't that great of an academic institution.

The same thing happened with Hand, he wanted to be an engineer, and when it came down to Michigan, Virginia Tech, and Alabama, he chose the latter. So I sincerely doubt that academics are much of a factor to these high rated recruits unless they're going to Stanford. Alabama is certainly using some negative recruiting tactics against us specifically, and I doubt that narrative is purely academic.

Bama doesn't really need to recruit negatively against us. They have won 3 of the past 5 national championships and have a steady line of players going into the NFL. Nobody plays the game to lose and most, if not all, of these top ranked kids dream of playing in the NFL. Saban is an excellent coach and knows how to develop talent.

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” - David Wilson

"We are better than we think, but not quite what we want to be" - Nikki Giovanni

If Bama doesn't have your major, Saban will create it for you...


Originally the Hand wanted to do engineering, then he said he wanted to go into sports marketing (I think that's what he said it was, but don't quote me). Turns out we don't have that major so he cut us off his list. I don't know how you decide to change majors that drastically, but these are kids we are talking about.

"Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?"

I mean, some people change majors 2 or 3 times after they're already in college. I think we can forgive a high school kid for changing his prospective major.


Whose mad? I am not mad at Barnett. Its so early and he is just a kid. He can do whatever he wants. I don't begrudge him. It won't stop me from joking about it however.
I would rather lose him now than lose him on signing day.


I thought he was interested in music production?

VT Genes

Broadcasting would be an easy sell. We may not have that major, but if the kid is good enough to get to the NFL, and has a good career, he can make it in about whatever he wants to.

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech, Tech, VPI

This is how I feel as well. If you want to get into a sports career (broadcasting, journalism, marketing), then make lots of connections while playing the sport. The opportunity will come if you're ready to seize it.

You're exactly right. Since he is playing the sport he will make the contacts. Getting a degree in broadcasting is more crucial for people that aren't playing or at least at the high D-1 level.

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech, Tech, VPI

The COMM department is getting new multimedia journalism facilities in the new Center for the Arts building. From what I hear, it is really nice and a huge improvement over what they had.

Here is the link to their small blog: https://multimediavtcomm.wordpress.com/

Adam Smith is in one of the pictures, so he must be interested in broadcast journalism as well and would be good for Barnett to possibly talk to.