U-M in on Third Columbia SC Star: Mark Barnes

Michigan pulled a major coup when it lured four-star defensive tackle Adam Patterson from Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, S.C. The Wolverines aren't finished at Richland Northeast, as yet another four-star prospect, wide receiver/safety Mark Barnes, has the Wolverines high among his list of schools.

It was the official visit that sealed the deal for defensive tackle Adam Patterson when choosing Michigan as his college destination. The desire to get away from home factored in as well for the Columbia, S.C., native, and that reason is one of several that has fellow Richland Northeast teammate Mark Barnes looking at the Wolverines.

"I'm up to around 31 offers," Barnes told GoBlueWolverine.com on Sunday. "I really don't have any favorites, but South Carolina, Clemson, Notre Dame, Michigan, LSU, and Auburn are kind of standing out for me right now. I'm like Adam in that I want to get out and experience something else; I've been here all my life." Barnes said all his favorites have offered.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Barnes said that he and Patterson have already discussed the possibility of the former taking an official visit of his own to Michigan. "He told me that if I did visit, he would be my host and show me around," Barnes said. "He really likes it up there. Right now I'm in the process of deciding which schools I want to visit."

It is early in the recruiting process for Barnes, and he said he is in no hurry to make a decision. "The reality is I haven't really been thinking too much about recruiting," he said. "I've been hitting the books pretty hard so I keep my grades up." Barnes said he is interested in majoring in art or music. A keyboard player since he was a youngster, he said he might one day wish to teach music.

As a junior, Barnes reports over 80 tackles and five interceptions, to go along with close to 20 pass break-ups. On offense he said he had 25 catches for over 500-yards and five touchdowns. The Cavaliers made it to the state championship, where they fell to 51-8 to Byrnes High School of Duncan, S.C.

He said schools are recruiting him for both sides of the ball, and while it doesn't matter to him where he plays, "If I had to choose a preference it would be wide receiver."

Barnes recently returned from an unofficial visit to Tennessee. "I went up there to check out the campus and I liked it a lot," he said. "I'm not sure of any other unofficial visits or camps, though I think my coach is taking us to the Clemson Nike Camp."

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