December 6, 2010

DE Barnes back from Penn State

Four-star defensive end Deion Barnes has narrowed his focus to four schools and he recently returned to his home in Philadelphia from his first official visit of the recruiting process.

Barnes is still considering offers from Penn State, Pitt, Georgia and Michigan, and the 6-foot-5, 220-pound prospect from Northeast officially visited Penn State this weekend.

"I just went out to Penn State this Friday," Barnes recalled. "They basically just had one of the players show me around. We went out to eat a couple of times and met with the coaches. We talked to the coaches and it was good. It was a nice atmosphere.

"They said they'll be playing a 4-3 and they want me as a defensive end and a pass rusher."

It was Barnes' first official visit and it probably won't be his last. He will be making his decision on January 20, so he has plenty of time to take official visits to the three other schools still in contention.

Penn State will have another chance to impress Barnes this week as a coach from the school will be going to his residence for an in-home visit.

Georgia and Michigan have already had in-home visits with Barnes and they each went well. Both stressed how high a priority Barnes is to their recruiting efforts -- especially the Wolverines.

"One came last Monday and one came on Wednesday," he recalled.

"Coach (Scott) Lakatos came from Georgia. He basically just focused on the school and said they're interested. They see me as an outside linebacker. They just want me because of my athleticism so they can get me all over the field. They think I can drop back or be a pass rusher."

When asked whether Georgia appeals to him right now Barnes responded, "You could say that."

Michigan is back in a bowl game but their woes on the defensive side of the ball have been well documented. Barnes is the kind of athlete the Wolverines need to make it harder for opponents to score.

"Michigan was about the same," he said of his in-home visit. "They focused on the school and let me know they're interested. Basically, they just need me. They need personnel."

Barnes said the idea of playing early is appealing to him but he knows he will have to work to earn time regardless of where he goes.

The four-star prospect has not set any other official visits.

This season at Northeast, Barnes registered 85 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 15 sacks and three blocked punts, one of which he returned for a touchdown. On offense he caught nine passes for 175 yards and three touchdowns.

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