Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Coaches' corner: P Jed Barnett
By Brandon Chatmon
After recruiting them for several months, Oklahoma's coaching staff finally was able to talk publicly about the players the Sooners added to the program on signing day. Over the next week or so, SoonerNation will review some of the key things coaches had to say about the players signed at each position group during their signing day webcast on Soonersports.com.
OU will have to replace four-year starter Tress Way at punter this fall. And it won't be easy. Way was one of the nation's top punters and brought peace of mind to the Sooners coaching staff.
Coach Bob Stoops hopes Jed Barnett (Camas, Wash./Laney College) can step right in to fill the void.
"Jed Barnett is a guy we really needed," Stoops said. "He’s one of the best junior college punters in the country. His hang time is around four seconds or better. He averaged over 40 yards per punt. No one gets really excited about Jed until next year when you’re punting the ball. I was focused on it and really excited about Jed. He’s got a big leg, and I really believe he’s going to be a key ingredient for us when we’re on the field next fall."
Stoops said the Sooners went out of their way to land a punter who was ready to make a immediate impact because he felt the punters already on the roster (Dylan Seibert and Jack Steed) weren't quite ready yet. Now, OU is counting on Barnett to win the job and solidify the position for the next two seasons.
"Really excited about getting Jed," said Bobby Jack Wright, who was OU's special teams coordinator in 2012. "He had a heck of a season, I’m anxious to get him out this spring and see how he can do with live bullets coming at him. He’s got a big strong leg, can really boom it."