4-Star Junior DE Talks VT Commitment

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While Virginia Tech’s coaches are looking to put the finishing touches on an already solid 2014 class, all of a sudden they are off and running in the class of 2015 recruiting. Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) defensive back Marcus Lewis pledged to the Hokies on November 16, and defensive end Michael Barnett followed suit on Monday, November 25.

“I feel pretty good about it,” Barnett, a consensus 4-star prospect out of Woodland High School (Dorchester, S.C.), said of his college decision. “I really like the school. I really like the tradition on defense.”

Virginia Tech was the first school to offer Barnett, coming through for the 6’4″, 245-pound prospect in winter of his sophomore season. Clemson, Florida, Florida State, N.C. State and Tennessee eventually offered as well, but those schools couldn’t match Tech. Barnett visited Blacksburg four times in 2013, first taking in the Spring Game.

“It was like a family environment when I first went there,” noted Barnett, who also attended Tech’s one-day camp and recruiting event on July 13-14 and regular season games against North Carolina and Maryland. “The coaches were cool. They knew me. The knew who I was. I felt [Virginia Tech was the right fit] early. I would have made the commitment earlier, but I decided to lay back and see how things go. After the season, I wanted to focus on getting school work done. I decided to commit.”

Barnett’s recruiting stock increased last spring and summer. He responded to the recruiting interest with a fantastic junior season, racking up almost 90 tackles with over 30 tackles for loss on a 10-2 Wolverines squad.

“I definitely think I took my game to the next level,” said Barnett.

Though he admits some coaches feel he could grow into a defensive tackle, Barnett says Virginia Tech is recruiting him to play defensive end. End is the only position primary recruiter Charley Wiles has mentioned, in fact.

Barnett hopes to make it back to Blacksburg for a men’s basketball game sometime this winter, but as of now no date has been set for that visit. He is looking forward to getting his family up to Tech for the first time. Despite having not seen Virginia Tech, Barnett’s family was “pretty happy I picked Virginia Tech,” Barnett said. “They haven’t gotten a chance