This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Alta is sending a second receiver to the Pac-12 next season, but this one isn't staying home.
Ammon Barker, a 6-foot-4 wideout from Sandy, committed to UCLA on Monday morning, coach Bob Stephens confirmed. Barker, a two-star recruit on Scout.com, caught 60 passes for 1,183 yards and 13 touchdowns this season in the Hawks' high-octane offense.
Although Barker had no offers as recently as this spring, the late-bloomer proved himself by performing well in some key games this year.
"You know, I think it's been a dream of his to play for somebody like UCLA," Stephens says. "He's made so much progress in all aspects of football. I'm really proud of the work he's put in from Day 1. He's the kind of kid who can turn a 15-yard reception into a 50-yard touchdown."
Barker's recruiting heated up this year as the season went on, nabbing offers from Hawaii and Utah as he piled up big games. Barker was the leading receiver in the Alta corps this year, even though he was playing alongside Utah commit Harrison Handley.
Among the highlights: a 172-yard, 2 touchdown effort against Cottonwood that all came in the first half. It drew UCLA's attention.
Part of Barker's problem getting college interest was some of his inconsistency. He started as a sophomore and junior, but had only two games last season in which he accumulated more than 60 yards.
With seven games over the century mark this year and multiple receptions in every contest, Barker has answered some questions on whether he can reach his potential. Stephens says he only sees a bright future for the wideout.
"I think he'll match up really nicely in college, and he'll be an impact player," Stephens says. "I think there's a lot more to be tapped into there."
- Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon