Offensive lineman 6-3/275/5.4
Lake Gibson HS (Lakeland, FL)
NR: *** - Position Rank: 17
His Recruiting Story
This sunshine state lineman’s ranking doesn’t accurately reflect how highly regarded he was across the country. Barnum accumulated over thirty offers, including tenders from Florida, Florida State, Miami, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Nebraska, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Alabama, and Michigan. In late September he narrowed his choices to a top five of Florida, South Florida, Georgia, Alabama and West Virginia. The coaching change in Ann Arbor put the Wolverines back on Barnum’s list in early January, but they clearly had some ground to make up.
”I set up this visit because Coach (Rich) Rodriguez took the job. It’s the same weekend I was supposed to visit West Virginia, so it’s kinda replacing that one. If Coach Rodriguez would have stayed then I would have visited West Virginia, the entire staff leaving also factored into it. I like USF and Michigan, my number one team though is Florida.”
The Gators secured Barnum’s pledge on January 11th, and the recruiting pitch delivered by some of the Florida commitments at the Under Armour All American game played a large role in his decision
“I was at the Under Armor game,” Barnum said. “There were a bunch of UF commits there. I met Will Hill, they were all telling me about UF and how they want me to be a part of the class. It was over-whelming to be honest. They have a really good class and all those guys know how to win.”
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez maintained his pursuit and convinced the talented youngster to follow through on his official visit plans to Ann Arbor on February 1st. That persistence paid off, as that trip reaped the ultimate dividend.
“When I came up there, the only thing I could feel was like wow,” Barnum said regarding his Michigan visits. “I was speechless. The stadium, the school, coaching staff, which I had been talking to all the way back to when they were at West Virginia… it was all good. “When I seen the snow, I liked it. It wasn’t cold at all. I was like, ‘this is what they call cold?’ When I was on the plane and I was thinking about it. I committed to Florida because they had a lot of good players going there that I played in the Under Armour game with. I kind of got caught up in that. I thought about it and said that I needed to make sure I was doing what was best for me. After I left Michigan, I was like, ‘man this might be for me.’ Then I came home and talked to my mom and dad about it and how they felt about it. My mom started pulling up stuff…she was like that is where I needed to be. I just really liked coaching staff. Coach Smith, Coach Rodriguez, Coach Frey… those three right there did a real good job. I like the opportunity to play early there too. They just graduated three starting offensive lineman and a couple of backups. They never promised me nothing, but they always said the opportunity was there. The rest is up to me. I just liked everything…the school, the campus, the players… everything.”
Lake Gibson head coach Keith DeMyer feels the Wolverines got a gem. "He has exceptionally quick feet," DeMyer said. "He can really get to the next level. He keeps his feet, engages the linebackers, has great balance and he plays through the whistle. Sometimes his style of playing through the whistle cost us some penalties, but he's got that attitude that you want to see from your offensive linemen. He's just a good coachable kid."
“Like the coach says, I have a mean streak to me,” Barnum said. “I’m aggressive. A lot of coaches tell me I’m a technician at what I do, because I’m good at my technique. I’ve got long arms and quick feet. I just work hard on the field and try to outwork the man in front of me. I do anything I can to win. I'm quicker than most other linemen and I have good footwork. I'm a good pass blocker and a good run blocker, too. I am physical. I am not going to stop until I hear the whistle. I refer to myself as a run blocker. I am a good pass blocker, but I prefer the run because I love to run the ball.”