UM Team to Beat

Miami (Fla.) Northwestern standout offensive lineman Chris Barney knew his team's offense was young at the start of the season. A lot of that youth showed in a 13-6 loss to Norland on Friday night, a game in which Northwestern's offense didn't score a point.

"We need to get it working again," Barney said. "We need to step it up and start playing better. Norland played a good game but we'll be back and get things back on track."

Barney, 6-5 and 335 pounds, is one of the top offensive line prospects in the entire state. While he tries to help get his team's offense back on track, college coaches are ringing his phone off the hook.

"I've been getting so many calls, it's crazy sometimes," he said. "I've talked to all the Florida schools, NC State, Rutgers, USC, a bunch of them. I'm just trying to keep my focus right now. All that will take care of itself after the season."

The talented lineman has been to one college game so far this season and that was the UM/FSU game on opening night.

"I stayed the whole time," he said. "It was a wild finish. Miami was able to pull it out. They never gave up, never stopped fighting and that was a good reason why you have to do that. It was a great game to watch from the stands."

Barney has listed UM as a favorite in the past. Is that still the case?

"Miami's at the top still," he said. "It's just that I've been around here, know about everything. I've been talking to the coaches, going to games, and stuff like that. They're always winning, they have good coaches, and they prepare people for the NFL. What more could you want? But I know there are other teams out there who are recruiting me pretty hard. I need to check them out."

Barney, who claims offers from all of his favorites, said he has not yet scheduled any visits but has a few other schools in mind.

"NC State is right up there," he said. "They're doing a good job. I like talking to them and it seems like they really want me. I think I can play right away. Oklahoma's a place I wanna visit, Rutgers, USC, places like that. I'll take my visits after the season and I'll make my decision at the end."

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