Austin Barrick has given GoJackets.com an exclusive glimpse at his story from the recruiting trail this season. He gives Tech fans a look into the type of player and character that Georgia Tech coaches identified early in the recruiting process. Austin, Tech’s third verbal commitment of the season, gives a refreshing look into how many would like to see players carry themselves in this crazy recruiting process. He handled the process with class and was respectful of all parties involved. Barrick officially becomes a Yellow Jacket today and will bring that character and work ethic to Tech’s football program later this year.
While waiting on the faxes to pour in today, enjoy the inside look at one of the newest members of the Tech family.
“I started the season playing wide receiver because that is where coach asked me to play because I could motion to just about any position on the field from that position,” Barrick said. “About half way through the season I went to coach and asked if I could move back to tight end because I missed being in the mix of things such as blocking and the contact and things of that sort. I also played some defense this year. I started the season playing outside linebacker and was kind of just moved around from there. In the middle of the season I played middle linebacker and at the end I was actually playing safety.”
Despite committing to Tech in early August, Austin already was piling up an impressive list of offers and other suitors.
“As far as the recruiting process goes, I have had a pretty pleasant time,” Barrick said. “I had early offers from Georgia Tech, Colorado, Duke, Vanderbilt, and UAB. I also talked on the phone with Clemson, Ole Miss, and Virginia Tech. I took a lot of visits to schools for junior days including Louisville, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, and Auburn.”
Initially Tech wasn’t the top school on Austin’s list.
“Ole Miss was the frontrunner early and I was pretty set on going there,” Barrick said. “They came to see me at a combine in Birmingham, AL and said after that if I came over to their summer camp that I would have a good chance of receiving a scholarship offer. I actually took an unofficial visit to Georgia Tech before I attended the camp at Ole Miss so I would have something to compare it to.”
As it turned out, the visit to Tech made a lasting impression on the Barrick family; one that proved too much for other programs to top.
“At Tech, they showed me and my family around the academic and athletic facilities, just everything they could that still followed NCAA guidelines,” Barrick said. “When we got home, me and my family discussed everything and they told me they supported me 100% either way and that it was my decision but that they felt really good at Tech and were impressed with the whole package that tech had to offer. I was very impressed with the facilities they had to offer also. Another thing I liked is they had very good academics AND very good athletics. A place like that is hard to find. So many colleges that have good football programs have academic programs that are set up to just keep you eligible and Tech's is set up to help you graduate, then help you succeed on the field. I also liked the campus and Atlanta is awesome. You couldn't pick a better place for a college student to enjoy their college experience.”
To go along with the total package of athletics and academics, Austin really hit it off with the coaching staff. You hear it many times with Coach Gailey and his assistants but once again, the straight shooting approach is often appreciated by young men of similar ilk.
“One more thing that I liked is how straight forward the tech coaches were with me and my family,” Barrick said. “They told me that when they offered me a scholarship, if I took it, that it would be good until signing day and they have definitely held up their end of the deal. All of the coaches are class acts and have been a pleasure to deal with and I am looking forward to playing under a staff of men such as themselves.”
“When I went to the Ole Miss camp they said that they would have a decision by the following Monday. When Monday rolled around, they put the decision off again so that dropped them out of the running. It was actually a blessing because it led me to commit to Georgia Tech.”
Austin’s hometown of Moody, Alabama isn’t far from Atlanta.
“When I looked at Tech I saw a school that had great academics, great athletics also, and a campus I liked that was only and hour and forty-five minutes away from home,” Barrick said. “It was just an overall perfect fit for me and my family.”
There’s a reason other schools didn’t keep after Barrick after he committed; he made it clear that his decision was final.
As far as contact from other schools since my commitment, I really haven’t had much. That is due largely to the fact that I called the other schools and let them know I was committed to tech. There have been a couple of cases where coaches have contacted me though. The coach from Troy called me and offered me a scholarship which I respectfully declined and a coach from Mississippi State came this past Thursday and wanted me to come on an official visit and offered me a scholarship to which I also respectfully declined. Other than that all other contact has been with Georgia Tech and I couldn't be any more pleased with the decision I have made.
When all of the National Signing Day festivities are over, Austin will turn his focus back to his preparation.
Now, I am just looking forward to signing day and staying in the weight room trying to get bigger and stronger so I can contribute on the field at Tech next year. I also attend the sports medicine and fitness institute in Vestavia, AL. It is a speed clinic I go to three times a week to help lower my forty time and things of that sort.
Measurables & Honors
Bench reps: 24
Honors: Named to the All- County, All-Area, All-Metro, Honorable Mention All- State, and Most Valuable Reciever (on team)