George Barnett has worked with three different college football programs during the last five months. He left Miami (Ohio) in December for Tulane. He then accepted the Iowa offensive line coaching job three weeks ago.
Along the road, Barnett has stayed connected with Class of 2022 Lawrenceburg (IN) High standout Ashton Craig. The coach offered the offensive lineman a scholarship at his two previous schools. He then extended an opportunity when he joined the Hawkeyes.
"I would say the relationship between coach Barnett and I is solid one. He and I talk regularly and what I appreciate most about him is his honesty and genuine interest in me as a player and person," Craig told HN.
Lawrenceburg head coach Ryan Knigga and Barnett have known each other for years.
"Coach Knigga has had nothing but high praise for coach Barnett and respects him very much. Coach Barnett told Coach Knigga he likes my athleticism, likes how I play with a chip on my shoulder and how I finish," Craig said.
"He also told Coach Knigga he believes I could be a good fit and that I'm the type of player who could come to Iowa and really develop. Coach Barnett believes I have a high ceiling and can develop at Iowa under his guidance."
Craig (6-5, 260) reports 26 scholarship offers, including opportunities from Baylor, Boston College, Cincinnati, Duke, Indiana, Iowa State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, MAC schools and Ivy League programs.
Northwestern is scheduled to play host to Craig for a visit on June 11. His Iowa stop is set for June 25.
"What I know about Iowa right now is they have a great football program with a great tradition. More importantly, Iowa is a great university with a wide range of degree opportunities for me to explore," Craig said.
"I'm just in the process of trying to learn more about Iowa, the players in the program and the coaching staff. It has been very hard to figure all this out with the NCAA guidelines.
"My main focus on my visit will be to continue to learn more about the program, the culture of the program, and the daily life of being a student-athlete at Iowa. I also want to explore what opportunities they provide for life after football."
Craig is aware of the Hawkeyes' strong tradition producing quality offensive linemen. That makes them attractive.
"I'm a very good run blocker. I like to get after it and be physical when the ball is snapped. Iowa Football is about running the ball. They love to run the ball and take pride in establishing the running game. I believe I possess those skills to contribute to that mindset and philosophy," he said.
Craig doesn't have a commitment timeline. After being relegated to virtual interactions with colleges during the last year, he's looking forward to the dead period ending May 31.
"I need to figure out where I fit best and who can really develop me into the best player I can be. I need to explore my opportunities then sit down and have conversations with those that have my best interest at heart," he said.
"I think when I make my decision I will be able to say I picked a school that has high academic standards, a football program that has a pattern of developing players as well as a program that can compete for championships year in and year out."
Academic considerations rank highly on Craig's wish list. Although he enjoys Science, he's still trying to figure out a major.
"I am very thankful for each offer I have received, I truly am. I had no clue this would take off like it did, but I'm excited it did. I have a great list of schools to choose from. I plan to continuing learning more about each one and cut my list down to a top 10 soon," he said.
Rivals and 247 rank Craig as a three-star recruit. The former sees him as the No. 14 overall player in Indiana for '22, while the latter pegs him 10th and the No. 51 offensive tackle nationally for the cycle.