Elite 11 Watch: Rider standout J.T. Barrett

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
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J.T. BarrettWilliam Wilkerson/ESPN.com Rider (Wichita Falls, Texas) junior quarterback J.T. Barrett will take part in the Elite 11 regional at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday.
Throughout this offseason, we’ll spotlight Class of 2013 quarterbacks who have a shot at making the Elite 11 finals in July. This week we profile Rider (Wichita Falls, Texas) signal-caller J.T. Barrett, who’ll be participating in this weekend’s Elite 11 regional in Arlington, Texas.

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J.T. Barrett considers himself a perfectionist.

So instead of basking in all his on-field accomplishments -- and there’s plenty of them -- the Rider (Wichita Falls, Texas) junior quarterback chooses to engross himself in game film.

During the season, Barrett watched film twice a day, looking for all the mistakes he made.

And during this offseason, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect has worked out nearly every day with the hope of correcting those mistakes.

Barrett believes he’s an improved quarterback since the season ended for his Raiders in December. And that’s a scary thought considering he accounted for 3,119 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior.

Barrett, who holds offers from the likes of Texas Tech, Nebraska, Baylor, Ohio State and LSU, will get a chance to put his skills on display this Saturday during the first Elite 11 regional in Arlington, Texas. And he hopes he’ll show enough to earn a spot in this summer’s Elite 11 finals.

ESPNHS: When did you first set a goal of making the Elite 11?
Barrett: Last year, I watched the whole thing. I got real excited. I wanted to get in. If you’re there, you’re one of the best in the nation. I’m trying to get to that finale. When I got the invitation to the Dallas regional, I ran to my coach.

ESPNHS: What are you looking to prove this Saturday?
Barrett: I’m a quarterback who looks to pass first but also has the ability to run. If the pocket breaks down, I have the ability to escape the pocket and keep my eyes downfield, looking for who’s open and then delivering them the ball. I’ve read a couple places where people say I can’t throw, and I’m looking to prove them wrong.

ESPNHS: How often do you watch film and why is it so important to you?
Barrett: In season, I watch film twice a day, sometimes until midnight. I’m probably going to get in trouble, but sometimes it gets me away from my homework. If you have a counter for what the defense is doing, the defense isn’t going to be able to stop you. You have to find those things out. That’s why you watch film.

ESPNHS: What are your goals this offseason?
Barrett: My goals are to keep getting better. With the exposure I’ve gotten and my offers, some people might slack off if they were in my position. But every day, I’m making sure I’m getting better, whether it’s running, passing or watching film. You have to put in work. Even Peyton Manning does. If you don’t, somebody is going to catch up. You’re going to get passed.

ESPNHS: Who’s the quarterback you look up to the most?
Barrett: Peyton Manning just by the way he works on the field. He takes care of business, then he goes home. That’s the way it should be. I like how he can dissect the defense. He doesn’t really beat you with long throws. He breaks down defenses with his reads. He knows what the defense is about to do even before the defense does. That’s from watching film and being a student of the game. That’s what I’m trying to be. I used to be a Colts fan, but when they got rid of my man Peyton, now I’m just a Peyton fan.

School: Rider (Wichita Falls, Texas)
Position: QB
Class: 2013
2011 Team Record: 10-3 (lost in Class 4A, Division I regional finals)

2011 Stats
Completions-Attempts: 101-170 (59.4 percent)
Yards: 1,604
TD: 14
INT: 7
Rushing Yards: 1,515
Rushing TD: 9
Jon Mahoney is a football and baseball editor for ESPNHS. Email him at jon.mahoney@espn.com.

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