Barnes, who's heading into his second season as head coach of the Chargers, has coached several BCS-level prospects over the years.
Before heading to Crest, Barnes coached at Scotland County in Laurinburg, N.C., where he sent a pair of notable defensive linemen onto the college level. Travian Robertson is currently a starter up front at South Carolina. Hilee Taylor played his ball at North Carolina and spent two seasons with the Carolina Panthers.
The following is a transcript of the interview with Barnes about three-star defensive end Jonathan Bullard and three-star safety Rhaheim Ledbetter.
How does Bullard compare to some of the players you've had in the past?
Barnes: I've coached a lot of good players, some ACC and SEC guys over the years. Jonathan Bullard is probably as good or better than any player that I've coached. I've got a guy that's starting in the SEC right now at nose guard and a guy who played for the Panthers. He is definitely gifted.
[Bullard] has ability to play stuff at him really well, re-direct really well, change direction really well and is physical…I think Bullard is a combination of [Robertson and Taylor]. Travian play stuffed really well. Hilee was more of a first-step, an angle and a slant guy. John John does both of those things really, really well.
What kind of a player has Rhaheim been for you?
Barnes: Rhaheim is as physical a football player as I've seen, as a safety. He enjoys contact. He's a great open-field tackler. He's what we call a box safety, a guy we roll down into the box and involved him in the run scheme, defending the run. He also does a great job at tailback.
How good can they be at the next level?
Barnes: Both of them, they're best football is still ahead of them, I think. They're both getting stronger and starting to work harder in the weight room, which is a priority now for them in the offseason. There's still a lot of growth. Both of them have the ability to help you in other areas, especially in high school. John John plays tight end for us. Rhaheim doubles some as tailback. I think they're both versatile and both have a tremendous amount of athletic ability. They're both explosive.
More on Bullard, Ledbetter
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