Five-star safety to visit; New leader emerges

Rated a five-star prospect by and with more than 30 scholarship offers, Mark Barnes of Columbia, South Carolina has become one of the hottest talents in the country. Barnes will make an official visit to Louisville this weekend and told that a new leader has emerged for his services. Who sits atop Barnes' list?

Rated a five-star prospect and the nation's 4th-rated safety by, Mark Barnes of Northeast High School in Columbia, South Carolina has drawn the attention from college coaches throughout the country. His scholarship offer count, which includes programs such as Louisville, LSU, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Virginia Tech, climbed above 30 months ago.

When last spoke with the standout athlete, he listed South Carolina as a slight favorite over Louisville, LSU and Virginia Tech.

"That's changed a little," Barnes told on Monday. "I'd say Louisville has the slight edge now. They were the first to call me at the start of September. They actually called me right after their game against Kentucky - that shocked me that they would do that."

Those chasing the Cardinal program remain the same, as LSU, South Carolina and Virginia Tech round out his current short list of favorites.

Barnes says Louisville leads
Barnes had hoped to make an unofficial visit with Louisville in July, but plans fell through and the trip didn't materialize. While he didn't make it to the River City prior to the start of his senior season, the opportunity to see the U of L program up close when they play Miami on Saturday was just to much for him to pass up on.

"I'll actually be making an official visit this weekend to Louisville," he said. "I basically want to make sure that I would be comfortable there at all times and that there isn't that much pressure."

Barnes added that he's "most likely" going to wait until after his senior season before making a college choice.

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