Out and About
Madison, Miss., wide receiver Keenan Barnes visited Ole Miss for camp earlier this month, offer in hand.
Really, he had nothing to prove.
So, Barnes, a member of the recruiting class of 2015, used the time to get to know the Rebel program better. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound three-star prospect, who stars for Madison Central High School, holds a number of offers, including Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech and Louisville.
He favors no school in particular.
"Just get better as a player and listen to what the coaches have to teach me and grow," Barnes said, prior to camp.
Ole Miss and its fast-paced, up-tempo offense finished 8-5 last season. Barnes said Rebel head coach Hugh Freeze and staff view him as a potential new weapon to plug in.
"They think I can come in and be a factor right away," Barnes, who finished with close to 1,300 yards receiving en route to All-Metro distinction as a junior, said.
"Basically, it's on me on do that. I just like the environment. It's close to home, and it's a place I'm comfortable with. And I like the tradition of their program."
Barnes would rather be close to home. But truth be told, proximity won't be much of a factor come decision time. More than anything, he's looking for a stable program and a school that is going to push him academically.
"Just a place where I feel like I can grow from," he said.
Fellow in-state school Mississippi State could very well fit the bill.
"Pretty much the same thing (about Ole Miss)," Barnes said. "It's a down-to-earth school. The coaches, they're real connected with the players. They're on the rise."
His remaining summer schedule is relative low-key. Outside of a couple of showcase camps, he plays on a 7-on-7 team for Mississippi. A few mid-major camps are on the docket, too.
"Right now, I'm just going to take it one day at a time," Barnes said of the recruiting process. "I'm trying to win my high school a state championship. After that, I'll be ready to make my decision."
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