Eric Barnett commits to Wisconsin

TomM
By TomM June 12, 2018 08:00

Eric Barnett commits to Wisconsin

Eric Barnett commits to Wisconsin
Abigail Ruckdashel | Monday, June 12, 2018 | WIWrestling.com

After committing to North Carolina in late 2017, Hortonville senior Eric Barnett has uncommitted and is headed to Wisconsin. The two-time state champion will look to add national titles to his already impressive resume. Barnett is expected to be one of the best at 125 and is one of the top recruits (#52) in the nation at that weight.

Barnett explains his decision and looks forward to his future as a Badger below.

WWO: Start from the beginning. How did this whole process of recommitting begin?

Barnett: I met [Badger Wrestling Assistant] Matt McDonough at the team camp for the national team. I liked him a lot. I recognized him from the whole [Badger Wrestling Head Coach] Bono situation. I got a few calls from them. Things then started to progress from there. They did a house visit, then I had a practice with them. There was a lot of talking with my parents, and that’s really how it went. I also went there for an unofficial visit before I committed officially. I wrestled down there next day after the visit and ended up verbaling right there.

WWO: What was the main reason you changed your mind?

Barnett: There’s really not a main reason. I liked the new coaching staff a lot and you can’t beat how close to home it is. My parents dedicated a lot to me, so it would mean a lot to me that they’d be able to see me compete at that level. I also have a lot of friends on the team I have grown up with.

WWO: Was it a hard decision?

Barnett: It was extremely hard. It took a lot of growing up to make the decision. I’m not the type of person to break a commitment, but I feel this was the best way to meet by goals. Keaton Kleuver is a good friend of mine and he helped me a lot too. I guess I just decided that this is what it’s going to take to be the best version of myself.

WWO: What are you looking forward to most staying in Wisconsin

Barnett: Definitely that my parents can watch me. I’ve also got my brother and lots of other support behind me. I know people were excited about my commitment [to North Carolina], but people were saying they wished I’d stayed in state. I’ve just got lots of people supporting me, and with the new coaching staff, there’s going to be huge crowds and more and more top recruits. Josh Otto is I think 36th in the country. There’s lots of good guys coming in. It’s going to be awesome.
Just being able to train with friends that are teammates and helping each other reach our goals.

WWO: What does it mean to you to have the opportunity to represent your home state?

Barnett: It means a lot. I didn’t grow up as a Wisconsin fan, but every time I get to represent, it’s an honor. Everyone looks at us like we aren’t super known, so every time I can make a name for Wisconsin I jump at that opportunity.

WWO: What are your goals once you’re at Wisconsin?

Barnett: I want four national titles. I want team titles, and I think we have a team that can do it. My friends that are there are real dedicated. I think Wisconsin can put together a top team I really do.

WWO: You’ve talked a lot about the new coaching staff. What do they bring that you like so much?

Barnett: Well Coach McDonough is a two-time champion at a lightweight. He won at 125 and that’s where I’ll be too. Coach Bono was a three-time world team member and a lighter guy too. They know how to win, and they have a winning mentality, as every coach should. I just really like the way they interact with people.

Photo: Dan Powers -USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin – Appleton Post Crescent

TomM
By TomM June 12, 2018 08:00