The Arizona State Sun Devils received an unexpected - and good - surprise on Tuesday afternoon.
According to a report by Sun Devil Source, incoming transfer Blake Barnett will be eligible to play the entirety of the 2017 season after being granted a Legislative Release Waiver by the NCAA. The former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback was expected to sit out the first four games of the season, but the waiver means Barnett will be immediately eligible.
The signal-caller started Alabama’s first game of the season last year against USC, but was then beaten out for the starting job by freshman Jalen Hurts. A decision to transfer was made official on September 28.
The news of Barnett’s approved waiver comes just three days after Arizona State hired Crimson Tide wide receiver coach Billy Napier to become the team’s new offensive coordinator.
A Corona, Calif. native, the quarterback is a former five-star recruit.
The 6-foot-5, 211-pound right-hander redshirted his freshman year in Tuscaloosa after being rated the No. 1 pocket passer in his recruiting class by ESPN.
Barnett will have three full years of eligibility remaining in Tempe. He threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns in three games this season, completing 57.9 percent of his passes.
He joins an already crowded quarterback unit for the Sun Devils, which includes Manny Wilkins, Dillon Sterling-Cole, Brady White, and Bryce Perkins.
The group is also expected to be joined by Basha High School (AZ) standout Ryan Kelley, who will likely sign with the program tomorrow morning.