Name: Brandon Barnes
Hometown: Bunn, North Carolina
High School: Bunn High School
Notes: Brandon Barnes started at wide receiver with potential D-I prospect Chris Fleurmont operating at tailback. Not wanting to show too much, Bunn head coach David Howle kept things simple.
"We're going to move Brandon around," said coach Howle. "We're going to get him a little more reps at wing back, but we didn't want to show everything. We're going to get him more touches then he got last year.
"We've been thinking of using Chris a little more at fullback and Brandon more at halfback. Brandon is just more explosive, faster around the edge."
In limited action, Barnes was able to flash his big-play capabilities. Unofficially, he tallied three catches for 48 yards (16 yards per catch) and a 26-yard touchdown at wide receiver. He also totaled four rushes for 71 yards (17.9 yards per carry).
Despite his offensive exploits, Barnes best position might be free safety. At 6-foot and 190 pounds, he is fluid, quick, and loves to hit. Today, he recorded three tackles and two pass breakups, and admits that he is very comfortable at the position.
"I feel comfortable out there," said Barnes. "I like free safety. I had a little stinger today, but I'm working that out. I feel like I did good."
"He's a great safety," coach Howle stated. "He closes on the ball... he banged up his shoulder early on, but he's okay. He's a great free safety, and we're going to keep moving him around. Brandon is a ball player."
Regarded by many as the top player in the state of North Carolina, Barnes maintained that he is firm in his commitment to NC State. The four-star prospect, who chose the Wolfpack over offers from Southern Cal, Florida, North Carolina, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Auburn among others.
Scouting Report #1: "Brandon Barnes is one of the top all around prospects I have seen so far among the Class of 2008. Barnes, 6-0 and 180 pounds, plays defensive back, running back and returns kicks for Bunn (N.C.) High School.
"So what side of the ball will he play on at the next level? It's hard to say because he is good enough to play running back or safety in college. Barnes is a tough runner that hits the hole hard. He runs with power and finishes runs with power and authority. Barnes has good speed and looks to have excellent balance, vision and instincts.
"Defensively, he has a nose for the ball. Barnes plays in coverage well and has a sense about where the ball is going to go. He breaks on the ball well too. Barnes is also good in run support. He is aggressive and can find the ball carrier in a hurry. Barnes is also good tackler that can make the big hit and the big play on defense.
"Overall he looks like an outstanding talent." -- Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Jamie Newberg
Scouting Report No. 2: "Excellent eye-hand coordination, runs with power, and explodes through holes. Tremendous vision as a running back, seems to have great overall sense of the game. Expected to be recruited as an athlete, but there is no question in my mind that he is a running back all the way. Appears to be right at the listed 6-foot range, and plays with great leverage for his size. Not a cautious runner, but still feels his way behind his offensive line well and then finds daylight into the next level. Good hands out of the backfield. Impact player." -- Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Miller Safrit
#5 RB/WR/S Brandon Barnes - Pigskin Kickoff:
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