Barnett on a roll

Barnett on a roll

Notre Dame four-star quarterback commit Blake Barnett of Corona (Calif.) Santiago talks about the awards and prestigious invites he's acquired over the past week.

In a span of less than a week, Notre Dame quarterback commitment Blake Barnett of Corona (Calif.) Santiago earned an invite to the Elite 11 finals (as part of The Opening) and a spot on the Under Armour All-America game roster for 2015.

Of the 64 quarterbacks competing (nationally), Barnett was the first to earn an offer to the Opening and Elite 11 finals. Overall, 18 quarterbacks will compete in the Elite 11 finals, and 11 will be chosen to continue on to the "final Elite 11."

"It was a great experience," Barnett said. "I got to compete with great competition and with quarterbacks from 17 different states. It wasn't just about accuracy or arm strength, but there were real live situations that we were tested with."

Barnett competed against some of the top quarterbacks in the nation, and he added that performing so well helped build up his confidence.

"I would say so," Barnett said. "Last year at this time at the Nike camp, I was just another kid. It's nice to see how this hard work has paid off. From last year to now, the main (difference) is just how much time and work I've put in. I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm working on getting there."

Barnett went up against some of the top names of the 2015 class.

"The guys that impressed me the most were (Alabama commitment) Ricky Town and Brady White and Kyle Kearns," Barnett said.

On Wednesday, Barnett received additional good news. He was the second quarterback invited to play in next year's Under Armour All-America game.

"Well, I'm just very thankful and happy that I have this opportunity," Barnett said. "This is the game that I've always wanted to play in. It's exciting knowing I'll be playing with not only the best quarterbacks but with the best players in the country before I head off to Notre Dame."

As for right now, Barnett continues to focus on getting better.

"I work out with my personal trainer (former NFL great Leonard Russell) two to three times a week," Barnett said. "Then I work out at school and with quarterbacks coach Dennis Gile in Arizona, too."

Similar to 2014 Irish commit Andrew Trumbetti, Barnett plans to make his time back home after competing in the Under Armour All-America game next year very brief. He's on track to graduate a semester early and enroll in Notre Dame in January of 2015.

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