DE Tavaris Barnes Profile
Finally home in Jacksonville, Fla. after a whirlwind recruiting visit in the Palmetto state, Tavaris Barnes is back from his newly discovered second home in Clemson, S.C.
And just like current Tigers Kyle Parker, Jamie Harper, Daniel Andrews, Xavier Brewer and Matt Skinner, who are all from the Jacksonville area, Barnes couldn't be any more thrilled with his decision.
But perhaps the one surprise through everything was the timing of his announcement, which came Sunday morning.
"My initial plan was to wait until signing day to commit. Instead of keeping everybody waiting, saying, ‘Where's he going to go?' You know? I went to Clemson, had a helluva time and enjoyed myself," he told CUTigers after catching his breath from a hectic first-time in Tigertown.
"I really did feel at home- me and my mom. The people are great. The coaches are great. Coach Dabo Swinney, he's a great guy. My recruiting coordinator, coach Jeff Scott, he is great guy. I love my position coach. It was just a great fit for me."
He announced the decision to the staff Sunday morning when meeting with the coaches at the West Zone.
Hosted by Da'Quan Bowers, who he's watched play in the orange and purple during the past two season, Barnes happily made a new friend with a guy he could be pushing for playing time at defensive end.
"With Da'Quan, he's just humble, down to earth, real, real cool. I like Da'Quan a lot. I told him I was staying. He was blown away. He thanked me, told me to keep his number in my phone and hit him up whenever. That was great of him," Barnes said.
He was glad to meet Harper, who he'd known of prior to the weekend. Dwayne Allen, Brandon Maye, Ricky Sapp, Bryce McNeal, Jarvis Jenkins and Parker all made good first impressions.
Then again, it wasn't just those future teammates and 2010 NFL bound player who greeted the first Florida commit in Clemson's soon to be completed recruiting class.
"I met almost the whole d-line, I met everybody. It was crazy," Barnes said.
Getting to know his incoming classmates helped too.
"In my recruiting class, I didn't know any of them at first," he said. "They were teasing me and telling me, ‘Come to Clemson, come to Clemson.' I told them I committed and they (were happy to hear it)."
Barnes got to town around Friday night around 6. Ate dinner at 7, met with Bowers, went out, woke up Saturday, went to the basketball game, the banquet and went out again that night.
Sunday morning, Barnes woke up, met with the coaches at 9:30, committed around 10, and left for Jacksonville about 1 p.m.
While meeting with Dabo Swinney, Barnes said they talked about everything.
"He talked a lot about Clemson. A lot about how he knows Clemson is going to be one of the tops in the nation once again, and how the next couple of years we're going to compete for the ACC Championship and then the National Championship," he said.
Mom was happy to give her approval in sending her son to Clemson. Her comfort with the program helped Barnes make the decision, one that he did seek for out for advice.
"She loved South Carolina also, and of course, Florida State," he said. "She said Clemson was where we needed it to be because it's disciplined. This is where we're going to be the next four years," he said.
Barnes visited South Carolina in December and won't go on any other officials.
"I'm done with my recruiting. I ain't going on anymore visits. That's fine with me. I'm all Clemson," he said.
He's planning to come back for spring practice, but could be back for Junior Day with First Coast defensive tackle Derrick Mitchell.
Jacksonville pipeline continues
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