Florida OL Has Five Offers

Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson standout Ricky Barnum is one of the top offensive line prospects in the entire state and the talented junior talked about the latest.

"I'm quicker than most other linemen and I have good footwork," Ricky Barnum said. "I'm a good pass blocker and a good run blocker, too."

Barnum, 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds, said he's been working hard since the end of last season.

"I played basketball and then put a lot of time in the weight room" he said. "Lately, we've been working as a team getting ready to play a spring game against Orlando Edgewater on the last day of school."

Barnum credits one of his teammates for preparing him into the player he is today.

"I get to go up against James Jones every day in practice," he said. "He's a lot quicker than any of the defensive ends I faced last year and he's real strong too. He benches 380. That helps me get ready for anyone."

Barnum, who plays left tackle and is being recruited to play guard in college, is up to five scholarship offers.

"I have South Carolina, UCF, USF, Virginia Tech, and Miami," he said. "They're all even right now. I don't really have any favorites or a top five or anything yet."

The talented big man spoke about some of the schools on that list.

"Virginia Tech was my first offer," he said. "I have a good relationship with Torrian Gray, my recruiting coach. Miami, they're good and they're high on my list. They offered me after Virginia Tech and I like Coach Hurtt a lot. I really like Coach Reese at South Carolina, Coach Collins at UCF, and Coach Bernum at USF."

Several other schools are keeping a close eye on the talented lineman and may end up offering once they see him in person next month during the May evaluation period.

"Florida State's showing interest as well as Marshall, Florida, Boston College, and Auburn," he said. "They send letters, text messages, and they call my coaches to check up on me. I went up to Auburn's (Junior Day) and loved it. Coach Knox is recruiting me."

Barnum, who plans on camping at Auburn and Miami, talked about what he'll be looking for in a school.

"The main things are the education, the environment, and my relationship with the coaches," he said.

With so many early offers, Barnum is taking the necessary steps not to get a big head about the whole thing.

"My coach has been coaching for 13 years and he's seen a lot of players," he said. "He's seen it happen many times where a college coach will say they don't want someone because of his senior season. We were talking and I made him a promise to keep working hard and asked him to keep pushing me."

Barnum said one of his Lake Gibson coaches has college coaching experience and that's helped him realize what he needs to do.

"Our O-Line coach used to be at Florida State and he told me how they called and told a lot of players they didn't want them because they didn't have the senior years they thought they were gonna have," he said. "Anyone can get offered but what matters is how you go out and play as a senior."

Barnum carries a 3.0 GPA inside the classroom and will test for the first time this Saturday.

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