During the summer, ESPN.com is taking a closer look at each scholarship player on Oklahoma’s roster in our Crimson Countdown series. Each day, we analyze each player’s impact on the program since arriving on campus, his potential impact this fall, and his long-term projection. Starting with No. 1 Dominique Alexander, the series follows the roster numerically through No. 98 Chuka Ndulue.
No. 44 Jed Barnett, punter, 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, senior
Impact thus far: Barnett became the Sooners’ starting punter during his first season in 2013. He averaged 41.7 yards per punt on 65 punts including 22 punts inside the 20-yard line and 11 punts of 50 yards or more. His 12.3 punts inside the 10-yard line rate ranked second in the Big 12. But his 35.25 net yards per punt average was ninth in the conference.
Impact in 2014: Barnett should continue to be one of the better punters in the Big 12 but his net yards per punt average will need to improve before he can cement his name among the Big 12’s best this fall.
Long term upside: He’s shown the ability to be one of the nation’s top punters if he can improve his net punt average because his accuracy in pinning opponents deep in their own territory is already among the nation’s best.
Evaluation grade for Barnett: A. He’s done exactly what the Sooners recruited him to do. He stepped into the starting punter role and is an asset, particularly when OU is trying to pin their opponents inside their own 25-yard line.
Development grade for Barnett: A. Even though they signed him from the junior college ranks, OU didn’t just hand Barnett the job. He’s won it and never looked back.