Some honors will certainly come at the SEC level, but Barnett’s breakout freshman season has also caught some eyes at the national level. On that note, Barnett was named a Preseason Second-Team All-American by CFB Matrix in its SEC Preview Magazine, which Barnett is on the cover of.
The 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive end out of Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy set UT true freshman records for tackles for loss (20.5) and sacks (10) in a season in 2014. That effort made him no stranger to postseason awards, as he was named Second-Team All-SEC by both the coaches and the Associated Press along with winning numerous other local and national awards.
There’s little reason to predict a sophomore slump for him with even more talent coming in on the defensive line in 2015. Perhaps Barnett will draw more double teams and attention in 2015, but other pass-rushing talent such as Curt Maggitt should limit opposing offenses’ options in that area.
Be sure to check out more from Dave Bartoo and CFBMatrix in his free SEC digital preview magazine.