6-foot-0 / 170 pounds
Lehigh Acres (FL) / Dunbar
After avoiding a redshirt as a true freshman in 2013, Barnes appeared in all 13 games as a sophomore as the primary backup of the receiving corps. In those 13 contests he ranked fourth on the team with 23 catches totaling 237 yards. He began to settle into his role at the end of the season, posting eight catches for 157 yards and a touchdown in the last three games of the year.
With the loss of Jamison Crowder to the NFL, Barnes is the trendy picky as the program’s top receiver target. He enters camp as the starter at receiver, and will likely get a shot in the special teams return game as well. After spending two years as Crowder’s understudy, Barnes will now attempt to fill the void left by his former locker room neighbor.
Coach Cutcliffe and offensive coordinator Montgomery have both pointed to Barnes as a potential impact player in 2015. After being targeted around 40 times a season ago, the expectation is Barnes could be an 80 catch receiver this season. He’s got a lot of the same characteristics that made Crowder successful, but he’s also bigger than Crowder by a good bit. We’d expect Barnes to become a favorite target of starting quarterback Thomas Sirk early on. The keys will be what he does after getting off the line and making the catch…can he extend plays and gain yards after the catch?
How he ended up in Durham
Barnes committed to Duke in June of 2012 during a whirlwind college visit tour. He picked the Blue Devils over Bowling Green, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Hawaii, Iowa State, Northwestern, South Florida, Wake Forest, and West Virginia..
High School Highlights
Three-year letterman at Dunbar under coach Phil Vogt ... helped Dunbar to a three-year ledger of 22-11 with three district titles ... as a senior, caught 24 passes for 500 yards and eight TDs ... had 38 receptions for 763 yards and 10 TDs as a junior ... also lettered in basketball and track and field. [info from this last section gathered from GoDuke.com]
FB Forecast: WR Johnell Barnes
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