The Oklahoman's Super 30: Checotah's Jacob Barrett moved to WR, earned scholarship
Checotah head football coach Chad Hendricks knew from his first meeting last summer with Jacob Barrett that he was getting a player with high character.
Barrett was moving into the Checotah School District from Okmulgee, where he was the starting quarterback as a sophomore. The Wildcats already had a returning starter at quarterback in future all-stater Cade Shropshire.
When Barrett’s parents began asking Hendricks about the possibility of their son still playing quarterback, it was Barrett who spoke up and volunteered to move to wide receiver, Hendricks said.
“He looked at me and said, 'Coach, I also play receiver and I play corner,'" Hendricks said. “He is a team player. He wanted to get out there and do whatever it takes to go win and help his team win.”
The move proved to be a blessing for Barrett, as his play there attracted more attention of college recruiters. Barrett will continue his football career after high school as a wide receiver, as the No. 25 player on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 list committed to Eastern Michigan last weekend.
Several schools were recruiting Barrett as a defensive back, including the University of Tulsa, but Barrett prefers playing offense.
“I love scoring touchdowns, to be honest,” he said.
Barrett scored 11 touchdowns for Checotah last season and finished with 940 yards receiving. His play not only impressed scouts but opposing head coaches.
"He has all the essentials," Stigler coach Chris Risenhoover said of Barrett, who scored on a 44-yard run and an 8-yard reception in the Panthers' win over Checotah last season. "He's got the size, the speed, the game instincts. He is quite an athlete."
Hendricks was impressed how quickly Barrett learned the wide receiver position, considering he didn’t show up at Checotah until August of last year. Barrett said he watched YouTube videos of top NFL wide receivers to pick up tips on how to run pass routes.
“He is real smooth in and out of his breaks,” Hendricks said. “He’s got great hands. He’s taken his ability to the next level. He had a great year last year at receiver.”
Barrett said he committed to Eastern Michigan last weekend because he didn’t want to miss an opportunity. Eastern Michigan already had two receivers in the fold and were only going to offer two more scholarships at the position, Barrett said.
“I liked the coaches a lot. They showed me a lot of love, like I was one of their players,” he said. “Their offense is perfect for how I play. On top of that, the fact that my mom and dad liked it was a really big thing.”
Barrett will return to quarterback for his senior season at Checotah. Hendricks wants the ball in his star player’s hands as much as possible.
Even though his future is at wide receiver, Barrett doesn’t mind making the move back to quarterback, willing to do what is best for the team.
“I can throw, too,” he said.
The Oklahoman’s Super 30
Name: Jacob Barrett
Super 30 ranking: 25
Position: Wide receiver/Defensive secondary
Committed to: Eastern Michigan