March 17, 2011

Offense or defense for Baratti?

Spring (Texas) Klein Oak athlete Nicky Baratti has seen his recruitment take off in the last eight months, but the fervor has calmed somewhat with track duties limiting his schedule this spring.

"It's been coming from all over the place. I've gotten a lot of looks from some places I didn't expect to hear from," Baratti said. "I've only been to a few junior days so far, and track has kept me pretty busy here lately. I'm hoping to pick it up and start visiting some more places in a few weeks."

Texas Tech is one of several programs who have taken an interest in the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder. Depending on what program is doing the talking, his projected position on the next level tends to differ.

"I think they're recruiting me as a safety, which is fine with me. A lot of the bigger schools like Tech, Notre Dame, and LSU have been looking at me as a defensive back," he said. "I don't really have a preference on what I play because it's going to depend on the program I end up with."

"Some of the smaller schools have recruited me as a quarterback or a slot receiver. It just depends on the program. At this point I don't know yet which I'd like to play. I just want to find a spot I can be comfortable with the players and the coaches. I want to find an atmosphere that feels like home. Depending on what school I end up with, I'll just be looking to get in the best spot for me to help my team."

So far Baratti has been to junior days at Houston, Notre Dame, and Texas A&M. Red Raider assistant coach Tommy Mainord has been making efforts to get the 2012 standout to West Texas.

"I talk to Coach Mainord pretty often. He's always trying to get me to come up there, but it's been tough lately because of track on the weekends," Baratti said. "I like talking with Coach Mainord and he seems like a guy who give it to you straight. I'm hoping to plan something and see what they have going on, but right now I'm not sure when that might be."

Baratti is hoping to make a decision towards the end of the summer, but more time will be allotted if he hasn't reached a satisfactory conclusion by then.

"If I feel comfortable I'll commit before my season, like around August or July. I want to know for certain that I'm comfortable with the program I choose, though. I want to have the feeling of it being a perfect fit for me," he said. "So if it takes a little bit longer to get to that point, it won't be that big of a deal. I don't want to give my word out to someone and then switch. I think that's the wrong way to go about it. So I'm looking to make sure I've carefully considered all of my options."

Baratti is anticipating a busy spring of playing on both sides of the ball. He's hoping to use that experience to help him narrow down his list of options.

"I'm still pretty wide open at this point, but I think I'll try and narrow it down after spring football. That process will probably depend a lot on what I play during the spring because I think I'll be going both ways. After the spring I hope to have a better idea of what position I'd like to play on the next level, which will help in deciding what programs I'd like to give a closer look."

Aside from Texas Tech, Baratti currently holds offers from Arizona State, Baylor, Houston, Iowa State, Louisville, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Rice, SMU, and West Virginia.

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