Sophomore cornerback and former top-100 recruit Julian Barnett has reportedly entered the transfer portal. As a freshman, Barnett played in all 13 games of the 2019 season at wide receiver before being flipped back to defense during the offseason as he was originally recruited to play cornerback. Barnett has seen limited action, primarily on special teams, in six games this season.
Michigan State CB Julian Barnett has entered the transfer portal.— Colton Pouncy (@colton_pouncy) December 11, 2020
Barnett was was ranked the No. 64 prospect in the 2019 class by ESPN and the No. 57 by 247Sports. He was also rated the top cornerback prospect in Michigan and No. 8 in the nation per 247Sports.
As mentioned, Barnett started out on offense at wide receiver as a freshman under Mark Dantonio. He had 13 catches for 182 yards (14 yards per carry). Nine of his catches were for a first down. He also returned three kickoffs for 36 yards (12 yards per carry).
After Coach Dantonio retired in February, new head coach Mel Tucker was hired, and Harlon Barnett came back to coach the secondary at Michigan State, there was a lot of excitement when the news broke that Julian Barnett was going back to the defensive side of the ball like he played in high school.
Despite a lot of preseason hype and fan excitement for the transition, he has not seen the field much this season at MSU. I certainly don’t get access to practice or team meetings, but the lack of field time for Barnett has been a head-scratcher. Barnett started at nickelback against Iowa, but hasn’t played many defensive snaps overall this season. He has racked up three solo tackles (one against Rutgers and two against Iowa). Barnett has played in all six games in 2020, but the majority of that action has been on special teams. He returned one kick against Ohio State for 17 yards.
Coulton Pouncy of the Athletic reported that Barnett has entered the transfer portal late Thursday night, Dec. 10.