Notre Dame identified Blake Barnett as a top target early in the 2015 recruiting cycle. The junior quarterback validated the program's interest Sunday when he elected to commit to the Fighting Irish and shared his decision on Twitter.
The 6'4", 195-pound passer picked Notre Dame from a lengthy offer list that includes UCLA, California, Arizona, West Virginia and Ole Miss. He is listed as the nation's No. 11 pro-style quarterback prospect in 247Sports composite rankings.
Barnett, a star at Santiago High School in Corona, Calif., committed during his second visit to South Bend this season. He attended the team's matchup with USC in October and returned this past weekend to watch Notre Dame host BYU.
Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly received Barnett's pledge before the coveted recruit returned to southern California. The commitment is key, providing other 2015 prospects with additional motivation to consider Notre Dame.
Barnett joins 4-star offensive tackle Jerry Tillery (Shreveport, La.) as building blocks of the 2015 class. The Fighting Irish offered a select group of standout junior quarterbacks, hoping to net an early commitment.
Notre Dame lands a productive playmaker, capable of improving with another high school season ahead of him before he arrives on campus. Barnett has passed for 2,039 yards and 20 touchdowns this season, per MaxPreps.
He's also displayed some versatility outside of the pocket, tallying 624 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground.
The Fighting Irish have consistently landed premier quarterback prospects during Kelly's tenure. Four-star quarterback recruit DeShone Kizer is one of 18 commits in Notre Dame's 2014 recruiting class.