Film and Ratings
Santiago High School
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Quarterback tends to be a position with high variance in rankings, so it's not too much of a surprise that Barnett doesn't check into the Top 247 yet maintains comfortable top-100 status in the Rivals 250. It's interesting to see that ESPN and RIvals prefer to rank him as a dual-threat passer, while 247 has him ranked as a pro passer; you'll see why this would cause a discrepancy after reading the scouting report.
Barnett has good height, checking in somewhere between 6'3" and 6'4", and he has an athletic build to go with it. Quarterbacks who receive an A or A+ here have damn near Cam Newton-like builds, so Barnett is up there when it comes to physical potential. He should be able to add muscle and get to a playing weight of around 220 pounds or more.
Not to be confused with arm strength, remember. Barnett needs to get his weight up before he'll be ready to take blows from college defenders or break poor tackles at the next level. Getting to the above playing weight would also allow him to stand stronger in the pocket, which would be a weakness of his if he were to step onto the field today.
Barnett is a long strider and is therefore faster than he is quick. He has deceptive explosiveness and cutting ability, but he's most dangerous when he can find a seam and hit it for the long run. He definitely has enough athleticism to be ranked as a dual-threat quarterback.
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On-Field Awareness: B-
Blake flashes a fantastic ability to run the zone-read, and it's also very clear that he knows how to identify receivers down the field when a play breaks down. That said, he rarely makes difficult reads on tape and will need time to adjust to smaller windows when he reaches the college level – something that keeps him from reaching the same level of someone like Josh Rosen, who isn't too different from a physical standpoint.
Arm Strength: B+
Barnett has a respectable arm that will allow him to throw the entire route tree with confidence. He isn't going to throw a twenty-yard out route on a rope, but he can still spin the ball with more torque than the majority of the prospects in his class.
Blake is okay but not great here, as expected with many dual-threat passers who play in a simplified high school spread offense. He has work to do when it comes to quickening his release on some throws and tightening his mechanics overall, including footwork.
Barnett has the potential to become an elite college quarterback. The physical tools, from arm strength to pure athletic ability on the ground, are all there to be utilized from day one. Ample time in the film room studying more complex passing schemes combined with time spent making his motions more mechanical will turn him into a tough threat to stop.
Barnett visited UCLA and Notre Dame, among others, before committing to the Fighting Irish. He held offers from UCLA, Arizona and of course Notre Dame at that point in time. Michigan offered him not long after Doug Nussmeier began his first recruiting trail wearing maize and blue.
This one is technically already decided for me: Barnett has been committed to Notre Dame for some three months now. That said, I don't think Nussmeier would have reached out if he knew the offer would immediately be rejected. Expect Michigan to continue to recruit the young passer, but don't expect him to end up in Ann Arbor.