Versatile SoCal athlete visits Oregon State

When you're athletic enough to excel at both tight end and linebacker, college programs are going to take notice. That's the case with Marlion Barnett. The versatile 6-foot-3, 220 pound athlete from Corona (Calif.) Santiago High School is building steam on the recruiting circuit with his combination of athleticism and skills and the scholarship offers are starting to come in.
"It's been gonig pretty good - I've got five offers now," Barnett said. "I've got offers from Minnesota, UNLV, Washington, San Diego State, and Boise State just offered me today. I'm also hearing from Oregon, Oregon State, and UCLA - I got a lot of good feedback at their camp."
In fact, good feedback has been the theme for Barnett at every event he's been to.
"Overall, I've been showing my versatility," Barnett said. "I'm playing both ways at tight end and at outside linebacker and I've been showing my athleticism."
Barnett's most recent camp was at Oregon State, where once again a good showing was the story.
"I worked out at linebacker there and that's what they're recruiting me as," Barnett said. "I got a lot of good feeback and they said that they'd be in touch. I talked with Coach (Mike) Riley and the linebackers coach and they liked me. I think I'm pretty close (to an offer)."
While in town, Barnett got a chance to look around as well.
"It was really, really good there," Barnett said. "I absolutely love the coaches there and they showed me a lot of love when I was there. The running back from my school showed around and I really liked the school. I like the hometown feel as there are not too many things there that can distract you. It's a football town."
The trip to Corvallis apparently was enough to get Barnett to list Oregon State in his current top three along with UCLA and Washington, two schools that have really made an impression on him.
"With UCLA, I definitely like their tradition and I like Coach (Rick) Neuheisel a lot," Barnett said. "One of my teammates is going there too. With Washington, I like Coach (Ty) Willingham - he's such a cool person. Their tight ends coach is a good guy too. I might take an unofficial visit there to see the facilities - I've heard a lot about them but I want to see them in person."
While he has his current favorites, Barnett is holding off any any major decisions - for the time being.
"As of now, I think I'll make a decision before senior season, but we'll see how things go," Barnett said. "I'm definitely looking at location as I don't want to be too far away from home, but also program stability, and (academic) major availability."
Stay tuned to to see if the Beavers turn up the heat on Barnett's recruitment and if they remain in the mix for his services.