6-6, 260 pounds, 4.8 seconds in the 40
Dublin (GA) High School
Prospect Ranking: Barnes is rated a two-star prospect by Scout.com.
Accomplishments: Barnes, a 5-foot-10, 205-pound dual-way talent, starred on both sides of the ball for Dublin. He finished with 67 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions, and an interception return for a touchdown while playing outside linebacker, and Barnes added 765 yards and seven touchdowns as Dublin's starting fullback. Toss in a 77-yard kickoff return for a score and you have a player that contributed in every possible manner as a senior.
For his efforts, Barnes was tabbed all-conference and Conference Player of the Year, and he was also a first-team All-State selection. Barnes was also named Class AA Defensive Player of the Year.
Academics: Barnes projects as an academic qualifier.
The Recruiting Scene: Barnes flew under the recruiting radar because most programs believed he would have to attend junior college prior to enrolling in Division-I. However, after posting solid grades in the classroom last fall, Barnes is now academically qualified. Programs such as West Virginia and Georgia checked in late, but after an official visit to NC State Barnes committed to the Wolfpack.
Scouting Report: "The best thing about Thomas is when the lights come on, he comes to play. "He really becomes special. He's a very physical player, and he just loves contact. I think his biggest strength is his athleticism. We're talking about a kid who played post at 5-foot-10 on the basketball team that won a state championship his junior year. That tells you how explosive and tough he is.
"He's really explosive and fast. Thomas is a 4.5/4.53 kid in the 40-yard dash. I do know that he had a terrible time at the NIKE Camp. I wasn't there, and when he got back he told me that he slipped on both of his runs up at that camp. I can tell you for a fact that he runs much faster than he ran there.
"We're talking about a kid who averaged right at 10 yards a carry for two seasons here as a running back. He's just so explosive, and he's a great athlete, but Thomas is also a winner. The last two teams he's played on have won state championships." -- Dublin head coach Mike Holmes