Just over a week from national signing day, South Forsyth's Alex Barbir decided to swap one Big Ten school for another.
Barbir, a departing senior and a top-20 ranked prospect at his position in the country, announced on Twitter Tuesday afternoon that he'd switch his college commitment from Rutgers to Penn State.
“I've made the hardest decision of my life so far over the past two days,” Barbir said. “Countless hours of talking and consideration. I am extremely blessed by God with all the offers I have been given. I'm forever grateful for each opportunity that has been available to me. But at this time I feel it is in my best interest to announce my commitment to Penn State University.”
Barbir committed to Rutgers in July after having great success at the University's kicking camp, and was vocal about his loyalty to the program while the Scarlet Knights dealt with numerous player arrests—enough to lead to the suspension and subsequent firing of their head coach, Kyle Flood. Rutgers named Chris Ash its head coach in December.
Before last week, Barbir had offers from Rutgers, Air Force, Army, Illinois and Navy, but received scholarship invitations from Louisville and Penn State on Jan. 19 and 20, respectively.
Barbir took an official visit to Rutgers over the weekend. The Scarlet Knights finished this past season 4-8, while Penn State finished 7-6 after falling to Georgia, 24-17, in the TaxSlayer Bowl.
Penn State will enter its third season under head coach James Franklin, who took over the program after compiling an impressive 24-15 record at Vanderbilt from 2011-13.
Barbir had a highly successful season, despite not attempting a lot of field goals as part of an offense that had no trouble scoring touchdowns, as the War Eagles marched to the state quarterfinals and finished with a program-best 11-2 record. He made his presence felt by kicking touchbacks on nearly every kickoff the entire campaign.
Barbir was named to the Forsyth County News all-county first team, as well as the coaches-selected all-region team. He was also an all-state honorable mention by the Georgia Sports Writers Association.
Barbir is expected to sign his national letter of intent on the standard football signing day, next Wednesday.