High School Hero Week 6: Woodland's Michael Barnett
DORCHESTER, S.C. (WCIV) -- At Woodland High School, the Wolverines are off to a 6-0 start thanks to great teamwork and a 6-4, 240-pound beast named Michael Barnett, this week's High School Hero.
"First day I ever saw him, he was a huge kid, kind of quiet with his head down. He had dreadlocks," said Woodland's head coach, Mathis Burnette. "I was thinking, 'Man, this is a monster.'"
How Barnett plays is a reflection of his philosophy.
"Lead by example, you just got to do it, to go harder in practice because how you practice is how you play," he said.
And the junior lineman already has Division 1 colleges salivating for his services, which means he's getting a lot of calls from recruiters.
"It's overwhelming but it gets old at times. I'm like, 'I'm tired of all this and that,' and everyday someone asks me, 'Oh where are you going? You going to this place? You should go to this place,'" Barnett said. "I'm tired of that."
But the place Barnett wants to be for now is on a football field with his undefeated Wolverine teammates.
A fellow hero, quarterback Drake Knight, who spends his off time volunteering with Special Olympics, says he's blessed to have big No. 77 blocking for him.
"Me and Mike, we've had the same classes since high school. He's one of my best friends on the team. I wouldn't rather have anyone else blocking for me at left tackle. He's a real good teammate and he's very humble," Knight said.
But Barnett admits that he hasn't always been a star athlete.
"When I was younger, I really didn't like doing anything. I was always fat," he said. "I was literally a fat kid. I didn't come out the house; I'd watch TV all the time."
Thankfully for Barnett's sake, being a couch potato got old, but he hasn't given up TV completely.
"I would want to do broadcast communications, to be on a sports thing like ESPN and talk, you know," he said.
Barnett hopes to leave school halfway through his senior year to enroll in college and play spring football.
He already has plenty of schools from which to choose, but early favorites include Florida and Virginia Tech.
This week's game of the week features Summerville at Fort Dorchester. The whole ABC News 4 team will be live at Fort Dorchester.