Heading into his final high-school training camp, Barnwell said he and his family are trying to decide between committing to Rutgers or further exploring options at less familiar schools.
"My dad and I have been talking about if I want to verbal somewhere soon or take my visits," Barnwell said. "... Rutgers would be the only school I'd verbal to right now because I haven't been anywhere else and I'm comfortable there."
After a trio of unofficial visits to Rutgers and a one-day camp at Florida in July, Barnwell is done with recruiting until Piscataway breaks camp.
Florida, which was one of Barnwell's first two offers as a sophomore, is now out of the race, however Rutgers remains on top because of his comfort level with the program.
"They were great," Barnwell said. "Rutgers always shows me love. I'm very comfortable there with the other kids. It was cool to see the kids that I play with. I'm just proud to see them making something of their lives and seeing them in their scarlet jerseys. It's a great thing."
If he decides not to decide before the season, those four schools are the most likely targets for official visits with Rutgers as a lock to receive one as well.
"I've really narrowed it down, planning my last couple possible visits," Barnwell said. "My father and I plan on visiting some of those places. I don't know any of those schools like I know Rutgers, so if I take more visits, that's good."
Barnwell is expected to visit Rutgers Saturday evening for the team's scrimmage. With Piscataway product Marvin Booker seeing a lot of time on the two-deep and former teammate Jawaun Wynn on the roster, Barnwell is excited to see the scrimmage.
"A lot of people have been waiting a long, long time to see Booker do his thing," Barnwell said. "We're all proud of them back in Piscataway, but it would mean a lot for him to get out there and play. It's his time."
Piscataway is one of the best talent-producing public schools in the Northeast. With Kyle Wilson, Malcolm Jenkins and Anthony Davis all as first-round NFL draft picks in the last three years, Barnwell projects as the biggest prospect since Davis graduated in 2007.
"I hope to be in that category," Barnwell said. "I've got some big shoes to fill, especially the last two years winning back-to-back [championships] with guys like Tevin Shaw. Everybody is looking to see if we do it this year. There have been a lot of great players at Piscataway, but it's more about the team. We just want to come out and compete."