Barnes Calls Big House Experience "Legendary"

When Philadelphia (PA) Northeast high DE Deion Barnes traveled to Ann Arbor last weekend, he did so without an offer. By the time the day was over that had all changed. GoBlueWolverine caught up with the rising youngster to get his thoughts on the Maize & Blue, how his game would fit at Michigan, his decision timeline, his favorite, and more.


Sam Webb:  First things first tell me how your season went last year?

Deion Barnes:  "We made it to the championship again from the previous year.  We lost the championship.  Individually, I had eight sacks, over 60 tackles, 20 tackles for a loss.  I improved from the last year with read and react."

Sam Webb:  What were the positions you played?

Deion Barnes:  "I played tight end, and I'm going to college for D-end."

Sam Webb:  Height, weight and 40 time?

Deion Barnes:  "6'4", about 225-230.  40 time, I do not really pay too much attention to that, but I probably run like a 4.8 or something."

Sam Webb:  I'm going to take you out of your box for a comparison.  You're a scout or a coach and you're up in the stands watching Deion Barnes.  Give me a breakdown of his game.  What do you see?

Deion Barnes:  "I say he plays just like Deacon Jones."

Sam Webb:  Deacon Jones? What do you know about Deacon Jones (laughter).

Deion Barnes:  "I know a lot about Deacon Jones.  I study him all the time.  He used the head slap.  He beat people with his speed, power whatever.  That's one of my favorite players Deacon Jones.  If I was to watch me, I'd say Deion Barnes can beat people to the outside, can bull-rush people.  He can switch the moves up.  He is very versatile."

Sam Webb:  Obviously a lot of schools are coming your way.  How many scholarship offers do you have right now?

Deion Barnes:  "Including Michigan that would be six."

Sam Webb:  When you came up here for the weekend were you expecting that they would offer you?

Deion Barnes:  "I was kind of expecting it because I had talked to them a couple of times and I could tell that they really liked me.  That's why I knew I would get the scholarship offer, but I wasn't sure either.  As soon as I came they said, ‘yeah, we're going to offer you.'"

Sam Webb:  What do you think of your recruiter for Michigan, Coach Braithwaite so far?

Deion Barnes:  "He's a cool dude.  The time I've spent with him, he seemed like he knew what he was doing."

Sam Webb:  What about Coach Rodriguez?

Deion Barnes:  "When I talk to coaches I try to see if they are telling me the truth or whatever and not just try to feed me stuff.  He did not really try to feed me anything.  He was just telling me what he liked about me and the things that he could see me doing.  I like that when coaches tell me what they can see me doing and not just try to feed me. He seemed like a loyal truthful guy.  He wouldn't do nothing bad to his players or nothing like that." 

Sam Webb:  You got a chance to see the spring game and the Big House.  What did you think of the experience?

Deion Barnes:  "That's legendary.  I used to sit home and watch LaMarr Woodley and them play.  I never thought I would be at the stadium.  It was a lot of people for a spring game, so that's amazing.  The fan atmosphere was ridiculous."

Sam Webb:  What did you think of the game that you saw out there, the players?

Deion Barnes:  "They are fast.  Like I said, it seemed like yall from down south up heree.  They fast man.  Everybody is fast.  Everybody play at a high level."

Sam Webb:  Did you see yourself fitting in]?

Deion Barnes:  "I see they need a pass rusher.  I did not see any sacks in the game.  I can see they need a pass rusher like me.  I can see myself in there."

Sam Webb:  While you were there did you get a chance to talk to any of the current players and pick their brains?

Deion Barnes:  "(Saturday) night I got a chance to spend some time with Je'Ron Stokes. That's my man.  We went to the same school in Philly. We caught up and a good time with him. I talked to a couple of (other players) but not for that long.  Just a couple of handshakes, and they was telling me I should come here and stuff like that.  He's the one I talked to and spent time with the most.  He really wasn't trying to recruit me or nothing.  He was just telling me good things about them that he liked."

Sam Webb:  You said Michigan was one of your six offers, who are your other five right now?

Deion Barnes:  "Virginia, Maryland, Pitt, Penn State and South Carolina."

Sam Webb:  Have you been to Penn State?

Deion Barnes:  "Yeah.  South Carolina, Pitt and Penn State."

Sam Webb:  If you could assess this for me… how did your Michigan visit stack up to those?

Deion Barnes:  "They all were good visits.  I enjoyed myself at all of them.  It's all a learning process.  I've just got to sit back and think about what I liked about the things and what I did not like.  I really got to do some thinking."

Sam Webb:  Obviously Penn State and Pitt are obviously the local schools.  Is that going to be a factor for you… distance from home?

Deion Barnes:  "It is going to be a little factor.  My mom and them, they want to see me play.  It is nothing like coming out of the tunnel and seeing your mom after you finished playing.  It really can but my mom can take a ten hour trip if you need to."

Sam Webb:  When you get ready to make your decision, what factors other than distance will play into your choice?

Deion Barnes:  "The program.  Everybody tells me don't focus on the coach, focus on the program.  I said to Coach Stokes yesterday, would I be comfortable here for four years?  That's the main factor.  Would I be comfortable?  Would I like to see myself walking around here for four years?  Academics is a plus, but how I see academics is that everybody is trying to push you to become a better student, but it is only your fault if you do not pass.  Academics play a role, but I want to be comfortable."

Sam Webb:  Timeline, do you have sort of a timeframe when you sort of have a decision made?

Deion Barnes:  "I'm thinking about signing day, but it could come earlier, I'm not sure.  I have to sit back and see everything."

Sam Webb:  Are there schools you would like to receive offers from that you haven't received any from yet?

Deion Barnes:  "Yeah I would like to get an offer from… what do yall call it, the school down south?"

Sam Webb:  Ohio State (laughter).  What is it about O-State that you like?

Deion Barnes:  "When I was a kid I used to always watch them.  It was like Maurice Clarett and all that.  I don't know.  I just liked them.  I like Michigan too."

Sam Webb:  What did the visit do for Michigan as far as their chances to land you?

Deion Barnes:  "It gave me a perspective.  I could just visualize myself being there for four years.  It was a learning process.  It helped me better of could I be here.  That's what it did."

Sam Webb:  Do you have a favorite at this point?

Deion Barnes:  "Everybody is my favorite."


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