Oregon now tops Barnetts list

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BALTIMORE -- Blake Barnett looked tired Thursday night. It was understandable.
The four-star quarterback from Corona (Calif.) Santiago had just gotten off a cross-country flight, days earlier just returned from a trip to Oregon and in between de-committed from Notre Dame.
It has been a tough few days, but Barnett got some things off his chest at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by Under Armour and seems to be moving on.
"It was extremely difficult," Barnett said of his Notre Dame de-commitment. "Such a prestigious university and committing very early, that's where I think I made my mistake. I rushed into it.
"My family and I both admit to that. We were caught up in the pressure and the moment and we kind of jumped on it, and I think I should have waited and looked at all my options."
Like many prospects, Barnett got caught up in the situation. Notre Dame loved him early, he loved the Irish back, and the four-star got swept up a little bit. Looking back, Barnett might have done it differently. But it happened how it happened and now it's time to turn the page.
"Being the fact that [coach Brian] Kelly said I was his guy, and I believed that," Barnett said. "The whole pressure of it being Notre Dame, it's such a prestigious university and it made me want to rush things and speed things up, especially since quarterbacks commit so early nowadays so I was afraid someone would commit before me, and I would make a mistake. I realized it wasn't the place for me after all.
"I contacted coach Kelly before I went to Oregon and I let him know I was going to be there. They were aware of the fact, and they weren't too happy about it. They were aware I was going to be up there."
The Corona Santiago prospect, rated as the third-best dual-threat quarterback in the class by, did not spend much time at Oregon. He didn't need to. The Ducks have always intrigued Barnett so when he visited earlier this week he knew it could be the place.
Oregon has moved to No. 1 on his list, and it's clear it is now the team to beat.
"I was there for just about a day," Barnett said. "They let me know they thought I'd fit in well in their offense and I'd be a great attribute to their team.
"At the moment, Oregon is No. 1, but I'm still open with my commitment, very much so, so we'll see what happens. As of right now I'm open to other schools, but Oregon is No. 1."
It's been a long few days. But even Barnett threw out a zinger at the end of his interview to show he's moving on -- and maybe so should everyone else with an opinion on his recruitment.
"Difficult in a sense," Barnett said. "Social media is always hectic so you can't always stay on that and stay focused on that. If I did I'd probably be in a mental facility from depression."
Adam Gorney is a West Region football recruiting analyst for You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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