Carolina Bluechip Back Checks Out Auburn

Heavily recruited Brandon Barnes discusses who he met, what he saw and what he thinks of Auburn after making a visit to check out Tommy Tuberville's Tigers.

Bunn, N.C.--Running back Brandon Barnes, one of the most talented junior running back prospects in the Southeast, has an early list of favorites that includes Auburn, Clemson, North Carolina State and Notre Dame.

On Saturday the Bunn High standout made a nine-hour drive to Auburn for the Tigers' annual spring game and came away impressed.

"They showed me around the offices, the facilities and the weight room," Barnes says. "I talked to Coach (Tommy) Tuberville and he told me they were only going to sign one running back. The best part was talking to Coach Tuberville. He's a good guy. He's a good Christian and he talked about everything that bodes to my situation.

"I also got a chance to talk to (running backs coach) Eddie Gran," Barnes adds. "He said I'm the man he wanted."

Tuberville's program as well as the role of team chaplain and counselor Chette Williams might be a factor in Barnes' recruiting. "It could be because my family is very religious and my parents would probably want me to go somewhere like that," he explains. "The biggest thing is finding a place where I'm going to fit in and what place is best for me."

With Rudi Johnson, Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown and many others in town for A-Day and the Sydney Gran Foundation Gala on Saturday, Barnes says he wasn't able to catch up any of the NFLers, but Auburn's history of tailbacks is favorable for the Tigers.

"I've always liked Auburn because they've always had good running backs," he notes. "I've seen good talent come through the program so that's what I want to do. I didn't get a chance to see them, but hopefully next time I'll get a chance.

"They (Auburn) are probably in my top five right now with Clemson, N.C. State and Notre Dame," Barnes continues. "Every school is putting up a good fight and they're trying to sell themselves. It's going to be a hard decision. I have about 10 or 11 offers. I'll probably commit some time next season and I don't want to wait until signing day. I don't want to wait that late."

Barnes has visited the Wolfpack and the Tigers of Clemson as well this spring and is competing in the 100-meter dash, the 4x100, 4x200 and long jump. He plans on going to summer camps at Auburn, Clemson and possibly Notre Dame.

He plays tailback, defensive back and kick returner at Bunn High School, but projects as a tailback on the college level. "My strengths are probably my breakaway speed and I can make people miss," Barnes explains. "Some things I'd need to get better at--I wouldn't say my catching ability--I'd say my power."

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