Eight student-athletes from John Ehret High School signed college scholarship papers simultaneously Wednesday morning.
Seven football players and one cross country runner gathered for a signing ceremony before heading to class.
Defensive end Earl Barquet smiled, laughed and joked, then used exaggerated arm motion while signing his scholarship papers with TCU.
He clearly was the center of attention, which is something he has gotten used to on the football field and as the target of numerous college recruiters.
“He’s outgoing and that’s going to help him on the next level,” Patriots coach Marcus Scott said while the signees posed for pictures with their families and other well-wishers. “He blends in well. He’s a people person. I think that will bode well for him fitting in with his next teammates at TCU.
“But he flips the switch on Friday nights and he turns it on.”
Barquet, 6-foot-3, 236 pounds, is a three-star recruit who is the overall 23rd-ranked recruit in Louisiana. He had scholarship offers from nearly a dozen schools, including Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida State, Mississippi State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana Tech, and committed to TCU on Jan. 21, shortly after taking a visit to the Fort Worth campus.
“It was a good experience when I took my official visit out there,” Barquet said. “Everything out there is organized.”
Barquet is a strong pass rusher but also a complete end who could play with his hand on the ground or in a stand-up position in the Horned Frogs’ multiple defense.
“Earl is an explosive pass rusher, but he’s not just a pass rusher,” Scott said. “He can also defend the run quite effectively as well.
“He meant a lot to our defense. He played on a really good defense. He was able to maintain a side and whenever you’re able to take away a side in the run game and also be effective in the pass rush it really helps the other guys on defense play fast.”
Barquet said he was slowed his senior season by the lingering effects of an injury to his left shoulder that he sustained late in his junior season. But he said he’ll be full go next season.
“I got back on my feet,” he said, “and I balled out.”
Barquet said the key to his pass rushing is “my get-offs.”
“It all comes with the hips,” he said. “I’ve been working hard with that.”
He joins a Frogs recruiting class that 247sports.com ranks No. 30 in the country and No. 3 in the Big 12 Conference.
Barquet, who had 40 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries as a senior, said the personality he displayed Wednesday morning won’t be the one he shows on the field next fall.
“It’s a different mindset (on the field),” Barquet said. “I let all my anger out on the field.”
The other Patriots football players who signed Wednesday were offensive linemen Ketaj Castillo (Southern University), Ahmad Bradley (Navy), Dashaun Raiford (Louisiana College) and Blake Joseph (Dodge City Community College), defensive back Jerrae Williams (Arkansas Monticello) and linebacker Javonte Jones (Southwest Mississippi Community College).
Additionally, Liana Flores became the first Ehret female cross country athlete to sign a national letter of intent when she signed with Loyola.