One of the better underclassmen safeties in the nation, Barnett is an instinctive player with some cornerback skills. He quickly became one of the leaders of the Ohio State secondary last season in his first year as a starter, leading the team in tackles. Regarded as a four-star cornerback recruit, Barnett committed to the Buckeyes as a junior in high school and recorded a handful of tackles on special teams as a true freshman in Columbus. He became a starter in 2010, but a knee injury sidelined him for the season, taking a medical redshirt. Barnett returned in 2011 and regained his free safety job (13 starts), finishing with a team-best 75 tackles and two interceptions. His disciplined and consistent performance last season was one of the few bright spots on a defense that finished near the bottom of the Big Ten.
Barnett is aggressive in run support and trusts his eyes, diagnosing the action and putting himself in position to succeed. He has an advanced understanding of the game with top-shelf instincts and feel for the position, but looks a bit stiff in man coverage and lacks elite footwork. Barnett has an overachieving attitude and has developed into an extra coach on the field with Meyer describing him as "a guy who just doesn't accept being average." He suffered a serious knee injury in September 2010 that required surgery so durability is a question mark that will have to be monitored. The list of former Buckeyes defensive backs currently in the NFL is an extensive one, including Malcolm Jenkins, Nate Clements, Antoine Winfield, Chris Gamble, Donte Whitner and Kurt Coleman. And with two years of eligibility left at Ohio State, Barnett could be next.--Dane Brugler
05/13/2014 - S Charles Barnett, Ohio State...Barnett was one of five senior captains at Ohio State in 2013...As a fifth-year senior, he was the most experienced member of the secondary and closed his career with 45 games played and 37 starts. His 224 career tackles were the second-most among the Buckeyes, and nobody on the team had more interceptions than his career total of eight...A native of Dayton, Ohio, Barnett twice ranked second on the Buckeyes in tackles in the season-ending stats. He was honored three times by the Big Ten Conference for his play on the field, and once - as an Academic All-Big Ten honoree - for his classroom accomplishments. - Dan Salomone, Giants.com