Elite 11 MVP: Blake Barnett

BEAVERTON, Ore. – It was a banner week at The Opening for Blake Barnett, who not only rose to the top of the Elite 11 charts en route the MVP trophy, but led his 7on team to the tournament title in the process.

In the last three weeks, Blake Barnett has committed to Alabama, taken part at two national camps and taken home the Elite 11 MVP among nine fellow Alabama commitments.

Team Apocalypse, in which he played with fellow pledge and go to wide receiver Calvin Ridley at Nike's The Opening, shut out the Landsharks in the final before the Student Sports crew named the Scout.com four-star as Elite 11 MVP.

“It’s been awesome, it’s been a great ride and a great experience so far,” he said after earning both titles. “To be able to compete with the best and be coached by the best, it’s truly an honor.”

The Elite 11 coaches are public about their leaderboard throughout the week-long event, and Barnett was not in the top slot among the 19 competitors until the final day of the competition.

But it was during the first day of action in which the 6-foot-4, 200 pound prospect learned a lesson from Navy SEALS that would carry him through the week.

“I think what set the tone for us was the first day,” Barnett said. “We had a seven-hour workout and we learned a lot from that as far as physical and mental strength. We learned how to push our body and our mind, and that was what helped. During tough times today, it’s the balance of being composed, and that made the overall difference.“

Having guys like Ridley and other Crimson Tide commitments to bond with throughout the week didn’t hurt, either.

“It’s been great, I fell in love with these players and I fell in love with these people,” he said. “Calvin is an excellent receiver, he showed that out on the field and I think that’s what separates him. Alabama is going to have a strong class this year.

“Our DBs were doing well and obviously Calvin and I were doing well.”

Barnett’s future offensive coordinator checked in with his quarterback during the week as well.

“I’ve talked to Coach [Lan] Kiffin a couple of times, he just said to keep working hard and stay focused on the goal,” he said. “That’s what I did and my goals were sufficient.”

Scout tabs Barnett as the No. 7 quarterback and No. 130 overall prospect in the class of 2015.

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