'Bama transfer Barnett eligible all season for Arizona State
Alabama transfer quarterback Blake Barnett is eligible to play the entire 2017 season for Arizona State.
The NCAA informed the school Tuesday that Barnett, who left Alabama in late September, had his waiver granted. He transferred to Arizona State in December and needed an OK from the NCAA to be eligible to participate in spring practice and play at the start of next season. Otherwise he would have had to sit out 12 months before becoming eligible.
Barnett tweeted: ''When you find out you're eligible for game 1! August 31 can't come soon enough. (hash)ForksUp'' Arizona State confirmed the NCAA's decision.
Barnett was a five-star recruit from Corona, California, and the most highly touted quarterback recruit to ever sign with Alabama. He redshirted as a freshman and battled a case of mononucleosis.
Last season, he started the opener for Alabama, but quickly relinquished the job to freshman Jalen Hurts. Barnett completed 11 of 19 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns in three games.
He enrolled in Palomar College, a community college, after leaving Tuscaloosa. That allowed him to become eligible about a month into the 2017 season, but he appealed to the NCAA for the right to play the whole season.
Barnett walks into a cluttered and uncertain quarterback situation at Arizona State, but there will be a familiar face leading the offense. Earlier Tuesday, Arizona State announced the hiring of former Alabama receivers coach Billy Napier as offensive coordinator.
Injuries at quarterback helped derail last season for the Sun Devils (5-7). Manny Wilkins, who will be a junior next season, finished the season as the starter. Brady White and Bryce Perkins are both still recovering from injuries and might not be ready for spring practice. The Sun Devils also have Dillon Sterling-Coe, who played in six games last season, and they expect to sign four-star prospect Ryan Kelley on Wednesday.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP
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