TAMPA, Fla. — Devan Barrett has more than one decision to make when it comes to college football.
The four-star athlete not only has to choose a school, but what position he’ll play on the next level.
It’s a daily burden.
“I’m not tired of it yet, but I probably get asked that every day,” Barrett said. “I’d actually say two or three times a day. Classmates, college coaches, my coaches, adults, my parents. It used to bug me, but I’m kind of used to it now.”
The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder likely will be a running back or defensive back in college, but he plays nine different positions for Tampa Catholic. On defense, Barrett has lined up at every spot except defensive tackle. He also does some wildcat quarterback formations and flexes out as a wide receiver, along with his return duties.
Rivals ranks Barrett as the No. 2 athlete, but not having a set position brings down his overall recruiting ranking. He’s 253rd nationally in the 247Sports Composite.
“It hurts him in the court of public opinion, but if you’re a college coach, it makes him attractive,” Tampa Catholic coach Mike Gregory said of Barrett’s versatility. “These guys are looking for football players. College coaches want guys that they can play wherever you stick them. Nobody would ever turn that kind of ability away, and he’s a rare talent.”
Colleges have taken notice. Barrett currently holds more than three dozen offers, and 10 have come from SEC schools.
“It’s good to be an athlete because they can stick me at different positions,” Barrett said. “I’m being recruited and getting all these offers for different positions. It’s a blessing and a curse because right now I don’t know what I want to play in college. It’s a big-time decision and I have to sort it out before I commit.”
When asked which programs are recruiting him the hardest, Barrett said, “Alabama, LSU, Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Missouri.”
Barrett doesn’t claim a leader or top group, but at this time he’s most comfortable with Auburn and Florida.
“I would say those two because those are the schools I’ve visited a lot,” Barrett said. “The coaches at Florida are great and they treat me well. They tell me all the time if I come there I’ll have the opportunity to play a lot and start.
“(Auburn) coach (Gus) Malzahn and that whole staff shows me a lot of love. That’s what you look for when you commit. The environment at Auburn is nice and people there treat you like family.”
Florida is close to home for Barrett, and he has a former teammate set to enroll at Auburn (wide receiver Nate Craig-Myers). But neither of those factors matter to him.
“For me, it’s about the environment,” said Barrett, who plans to decide on signing day. “How I feel around the staff and the campus is huge.”