When Ft. Wayne (IN) Homestead LB Jordan Barnes verbally committed to Michigan back in late June he was sure that a future in the Maize & Blue was his best option. In subsequent months, however, uncertainty crept in and he began wanting to take other visits. The coaching staff in Ann Arbor obviously opposed the notion of a commitment taking visits, thus creating a bit of an impasse. In the final analysis, Barnes cited another factor as being responsible for his recent decision to decommit.
"I think it was kind of a relationship thing," he said. "I had a great relationship with my recruiting coach, Coach Tall, but I really didn't have that strong of a relationship with my position coach… which is a really important thing for me. It's nothing against Coach Hopson. It just that it was just getting too close to signing day to feel like I didn't know where I stand in the whole situation. "
When asked if this decision signaled the end of his consideration of the Wolverines, the Hoosier State backer said, "yes."
The Wolverines probably won't look to replace Barnes with another middle linebacker in this class considering the depth at the position. Obi Ezeh, J.B. Fitzgerald, and Kenny Demens are all set to return next year. This move opens the door for them to address other positional needs with that scholarship.
For Barnes the recruiting process begins all over again, and currently there are three schools that stick out.
"Purdue, Oklahoma State, and still Alabama a little bit, but I still have to see about that," said Barnes regarding the schools he's considering. "I think that's about it. We'll see if any other schools come along now that I've de-committed."
January will prove to be a pivotal month in Barnes recruitment. That's the time where his suitors will have their opportunity to win him over.
"I know I'm taking my visit to Purdue in mid-January and Oklahoma State I think early in January," he said. "(The relationship with the position coach) is going to be a big factor. The problem with Oklahoma State is I had a great relationship with Coach Beckman, but now Coach Beckman left and now he is the coach at Toledo. Now I have to see what the new linebacker coach is going to be like there for me to figure things out. Hopefully they figure out their linebacker coach by January when I take my visit. I think I'm going to look for a place I feel comfortable. That's always been important. I think those two are the main factors."
As for the timeline for his decision…
"I think it could go to signing day," he said.