SS C.J. BARNETT, OHIO ST.

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6’1” – 204 lbs. – 4.60e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2009: Redshirt
2010: 5 – 0.0 – 0.0, 1 PD
2011: 75 – 1.0 – 0.0, 6 PD, 2 INT
2012: 56 – 2.5 – 0.0, 6 PD, 1 INT

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted in 2009, then started the first two games of the following season, but tore his ACL and was lost for the season. Started all thirteen games in 2011, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors. Missed three games in 2012 due to an ankle injury, but was healthy through 2013.

POSITIVES:

•    Will be entering the draft with three seasons of starting experience for a major program.
•    Overcome past injuries to remain effective; had his most productive year as senior.
•    Has prototypical height and bulk for a safety prospect, with an impressive physique.
•    Lines up all over the field for the Buckeyes: in the box, in the slot, and as a deep safety.
•    Assumed more deep coverage responsibilities than most other strong safety prospects.
•    Doesn’t shy away from contact but also avoids overcommitting early in run defense.
•    Physical tackler, brings opponents to the ground forcefully; can also make the big hit.
•    Takes pretty good angles in run defense, doesn’t get caught out of position very often.
•    Big and strong enough to line him up against opposing tight ends in man coverage.
•    Intelligent, well-spoken player who has previously earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.

NEGATIVES:

•    Overall speed is adequate but not ideal, will need to rely on his recognition skills.
•    Susceptible to double-moves in coverage, tends to sit on the underneath route.
•    Has done a little bit of work against slot receivers but isn’t fast enough to continue.
•    Angles in pursuit of receivers may require some revision against faster pro targets.
•    Could do a better job of taking on blocks, doesn’t anchor as well as his size suggests.
•    Injury history requires evaluation; style of play may also increase risk of further issues.

SUMMARY:

Barnett is a tall, muscular safety who has started for the Buckeyes over the past three seasons, handling various different responsibilities with the team. His most significant assets as a prospect are his intelligence, his patience and angles in run support, and his reliable, physical tackling. With the Buckeyes, he has done some work in the slot and in deep coverage, but his athletic limitations, coupled with his susceptibility to double moves, may very well restrict him to box responsibilities and coverage on tight ends at the next level. His injury history will also concern some teams. Responsibilities will be reined in as a pro, but does a few things well.

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