"He's just a great athlete," Middleburg head coach Alan Powers said.
But Louisville fans will come to know Barnidge over the next few seasons for the way he plays the tight end position on the gridiron.
Barnidge, a 6'6, 215-pounder, played both ways for Middleburg at tight end and defensive end. He made 65 tackles, including 10 for loss, and made 3 sacks, 6 fumble recoveries and caused 3 fumbles on defense.
"He was always around the ball," Powers said.
At Louisville, though, he's being counted on and projected as the tight end of the future. Playing in a run-oriented offense at Middleburg, Barnidge made 17 receptions as a senior, 5 of which went for touchdowns.
"He has great hands and the ability to get yards after the catch," Powers said. "He was a big part of our red zone offense and is a tremendous blocker as well. He's just a great athlete and I told Coach Petrino that Gary is ahead of Richard Owens at the same point. His work ethic could not be better and he'll fit in tremendously in Louisville's schemes and the way they use the tight end."
Barnidge has a big upside and, according to Powers, could enter fall camp around the 230-235-pound mark.
"I see no reason he won't eventually put on 250-260-pounds to his frame and still maintain his speed," Powers said. "Louisville hopes he can possibly come in and contribute right away."
"The sky's the limit for Gary at Louisville."