22 DAYS TO KICKOFF: Dante Barnett

Dante Barnett had a pretty rough first start in 2012. But he'll learn from it and he will get better, I promise. - Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

In which BracketCat counts down the 22nd day until kickoff with a profile of defensive back Dante Barnett.

DanteBarnett

#22 Dante Barnett
True Sophomore
6-1 | 186
Tulsa, Okla.

Bio

Position: Defensive Back

Previous College: None

Projection: Starter

Status: On Scholarship

Dante Barnett (b. June 14, 1993) is a young defensive back who, after grayshirting, saw action mainly on special teams to begin his freshman year, but was called upon to start during the final two regular-season contests.

He appeared in all 13 games, including starts against Baylor and Texas; registered 24 tackles, including one for a loss; and broke up two passes. But amid all that good, there was one night of horrible, unmitigated bad.

Although Barnett notched a career-best 14 tackles at Baylor, they came for one major reason: Nick Florence and his receivers picked on our boy like a jock picking on a fat kid. He was torched — early, often, repeatedly, mercilessly.

Barnett followed that up that difficult life lesson with four stops against the Longhorns, came away with two tackles against Texas Tech, and had one each against Missouri State, Oklahoma, Iowa State and Oklahoma State.

Prior to arriving at K-State, he recorded a ridiculous 100 tackles and nine interceptions on his way to earning second-team all-state honors as a senior in 2010 at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Okla.

He also hauled in 10 touchdowns as a wide receiver. Barnett recorded 101 tackles and collected nine interceptions as a junior, and also caught 32 passes for 775 yards and six touchdowns.

He led Booker T. Washington to a 13-1 record and a state championship in 2010-11, and was a high school teammate of current Wildcats Tyler Lockett and Keenan Taylor. He originally was recruited as an athlete.

Barnett might have had an extremely tough first start, but defensive backs have a history of this sort of thing under Bill Snyder. When they grayshirt, they've already had two offseasons under their belts by their freshman years.

Then they are thrown into the fire. Barnett certainly was. But it worked for Thomas Ferguson, Marcus Watts and Ty Zimmerman, didn't it? Now Barnett gets to follow in their footsteps as the likely starting strong safety in 2013.

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