Careful Deliberation

Barry Brunetti

Barry Brunetti isn't rushing to a decision of where he'll next play college football. But with classes set to start back later this month, he knows he has to hurry.

Still, Brunetti, rated a three-star recruit out of high school by Scout.com, has to make the right decision. Brunetti left West Virginia in early December, noting a desire to be closer to his mother in his hometown of Memphis, Tenn.

Brunetti's mother, Elna, as has been reported, was injured in a car wreck last year.

"I'm willing to talk to anybody. At the same time, I've got to hurry up," Brunetti said, when reached by phone Monday.

Brunetti said he's really deciding between three schools – Ole Miss, Memphis and Arkansas State. In a report filed by Jason Smith of the Commercial Appeal December 29, Brunetti called Ole Miss "the team to beat."

Five days later, Brunetti is more open. He wants to allow each of his finalists a chance to speak with him. Again, the former U.S. Army All-American is seeking to make the best decision possible.

Barry Brunetti

"At the time, I was feeling like (Ole Miss') situation was much better," Brunetti said. "But at the same time, it's too early to say, because I haven't had a chance to talk to all three of (the schools) yet. I want to give all three a chance to talk to me.

"I'll know more after I talk to the three coaches. I'll know way more info. Right now, there's just a lot of things up in the air."

Brunetti said Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt is expected in his home Wednesday. Nutt, according to Brunetti, is handling the re-recruitment of Brunetti on his own.

"They're looking for a guy who can run and throw," Brunetti said. "He really loved me out of high school, but I committed to West Virginia kind of early.

"He's been telling me he let me get away in high school. I appreciate them giving me another chance. It shows me they really want me, if the head coach is handling it on his own."

The 6-foot, 207-pound Brunetti is a former Parade All-American. He led Memphis University School to back-to-back state championships over his junior and senior seasons, when he combined for over 4,700 yards and 72 touchdowns.

He was named the nation's 20th-best quarterback out of high school by Scout.com, holding offers from West Virginia, Duke, Louisville, Memphis, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Tulsa.

"If anybody wants to talk, they can. I'm willing to listen to anyone who wants to talk," Brunetti said. "It's just, I mean, those are the three (Ole Miss, Memphis, Arkansas State) in the area I need to stay around to be close to my mother and everything. Those are the three I can send my release to."

Due to NCAA transfer rules, Brunetti won't be eligible to play until next December. However, should he qualify for an NCAA hardship waiver, he could suit up for his new school for the upcoming season.

Brunetti appeared in four games for West Virginia last season. He completed 4 of 9 passes for six yards. He rushed once for four yards.

"I'm really focusing on this waiver, and who can help me outside of football," he said. "Football's important, but football's not forever. I feel like I made a good choice coming back home closer to my mother. I mean, these are three great schools and three great coaches. I'm mostly looking for who can help me after football."

Brunetti is aiming to make a final decision "Saturday or Sunday."






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