August 3, 2009

Will Texas quarterback follow sister's footsteps?

Taylor Barnhill's family will soon be donning Ole Miss gear and getting familiar with the traditions and customs of the Oxford, Miss., campus -- if it hasn't already.

While the Justin (Northwest), Texas, pro-style quarterback and the Rebels have mutual interest, it is Barnhill's sister, Brittany, that is the current reason for the emphasis on the red and blue. The elder Barnhill, a highly-touted softball player, just transferred from the University of Texas to Ole Miss and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Taylor Barnhill is hoping for an Ole Miss offer, but his sister's decision doesn't play a factor.

"My sister did what was best for her," Barnhill said. "It won't affect me whatsoever, but I have my own reasons for liking Ole Miss. I'm definitely interested, and it would be neat to be in the same place, but this is about me and where I'm comfortable. Also, what teams wants me and gives me the best opportunity."

Barnhill has spent the summer attending team camps around the state of Texas, with trips to Ole Miss, ULM and Tulsa thrown in as well. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound recruit is auditioning for offers and may have to spend the fall doing the same. Barnhill will make his first career high school start later this month, so being under the radar is understandable.

"I couldn't be more excited about the season," Barnhill said. "We start practice this week, and I will finally have the opportunity. I know I'm playing this season for opportunities at the next level."

Barnhill injured his elbow during his sophomore year, costing him the majority of the season, and he was sidelined last year with a broken wrist. Due to the lack of game film, schools are waiting for further evaluation. Rice and TCU join Ole Miss as schools showing Barnhill the most attention.

Ole Miss offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kent Austin left an impression on Barnhill recently. Barnhill spent three days in Oxford earlier this year and also attended the elite camp July 25.

"Coach Austin is just very knowledgeable and a great coach," Barnhill said. "The coaches are very close with the players and make sure you get one-on-one work. The campus is beautiful. There are lots of positives.

"They are a school I hope to continue to build a relationship with," Barnhill said. "I'm ready for the chance to catch their eyes on film and see what happens. I want a school that will throw the ball."

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