© Jacquie Franciulli (Scout)

Scout 150 OT William Barnes says recent visit to Florida moves the Gators up.

William Barnes is a frequent visitor to Gainesville, but on Saturday this visit changed things for the Scout 300 offensive tackle. The Apopka standout explains why the Gators have moved up.

William Barnes is no stranger to The Swamp. The Scout 150 offensive lineman has made frequent trips to Gainesville to check in with the Florida, however, Saturday's visit was different. 

This visit "does actually change things, moving them up," said the Apopka high stand out.  "Definitely one of my tops schools, definitely." 

Why the change? Although Barnes had already met the Gators' new offensive line coach, Brad Davis, on his previous visit, this visit allowed Barnes to see the coach in action and see what his coaching style has done to improve Florida's offensive line. 

"Definitely talking to Coach Davis [stood out],” said Barnes. “Seeing the way he coached, it definitely opened my eyes about Florida and just coming back up here against and talking to Tez [ Martez Ivey[ - thats what I really enjoyed about the visit, talking to him and seeing how he liked Coach Davis.” 

Ivey, a former Apopka standout, enlightened Barnes about how things have changed in the trenches 

"He really likes this coach and he sees them going big places this year," said Barnes, "so thats going to be exciting." 

During his visit, Barnes was able to stand by at practice and watch Davis in action. 

"The way he coached, thats what I’ve been looking forward to, and seeing how he takes care of his guys. He treats them tough but at the end he is going to love him, just like they are his own kids and that is something I really like in a coach.” 

Florida's message to him was clear, 'we want you.' 

Jim McElwain "always tells me just before I leave to imagine myself in orange and blue and I do every time," Barnes laughed. 

Although this was a successful trip back to Florida, the Gators do have some competition. 

"UNC, Auburn, Ohio State, and  Florida State are also some of my top schools," said Barnes. All these schools have one things in common for the four-star lineman, "just the environment, how it makes me feel is definitely one thing that I enjoy about it. 

At one point it seemed like the Tar Heels had the edge. 

"Definitely talking to coach Kap [Chris Kapilovic], the offensive line coach, and [tight ends] coach Chad Scott, those are definitely the two coaches I speak with the most and also [UNC head] coach [Larry] Fedora he is a real cool guy too," said Barnes.  I just really love the campus and the academic part too."

His most recent visit, apart from Florida, was not to Chapel Hill, however, it was to Tallahassee to see Nols. 

Talking to [FSU offensive line] coach [Rick] Trickett and seeing the way he coaches the O-line and definitely talking to [head] coach Jimbo [Fisher]. He is a really cool guy," said Barnes. Trickett "comes out there loud, strong, and moving around quick. I really do enjoy that in a coach too." 

Barnes plans to visit Ohio State next. 

"April 8th I’ll be up at Ohio State,” he said. “Coach Tony Alford told me about school. He told me it is a great school, so I want to go up there and see if it really is what he says it is.” 


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