Barnes Settles in at Shrine Bowl

ROEBUCK, S.C. -- After playing tailback, wide receiver, and safety for Bunn High School, four-star standout Brandon Barnes is playing just one position this week at the Shrine Bowl.

"They've got me at safety down here," Brandon Barnes told Pack Pride. "It's been a lot of work, but it's been easy catching on to the defensive plays we've been doing. There have been some combo coverages that are a little different, but I've been able to catch on to them."

The highlight of the week for Barnes was Sunday's visit to the Shriner's Hospital.

"It was a great experience," he said. "That is the reason for this whole event. It's great to know this game and this week helps those kids get treatment. It's amazing... it's a good thing."

After this week's game, Barnes will return home for a couple of weeks before heading to Orlando, Florida where he will participate in the inaugural ESPNU High School All-American Game.

The game will be televised nationally January 5th at 2 p.m. EST on ABC. Players will arrive in Orlando, Florida on December 31st, and practices throughout the week will be aired live on ESPNU. There will also be a Skills Challenge on January 3rd at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. That event will be aired January 4th on ESPN2.

Barnes will be rooming with fellow NC State commitment Mike Glennon.

"I've been talking with Mike Glennon some," he stated. I've talked with him some on the computer... we're not on the same team though. I'm ready to get down there for that game. We're going to room together."

Barnes committed to NC State in the summer over offers from Southern Cal, Florida, Michigan, Florida State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Auburn, and Clemson among others.

He maintains that his commitment is solid and he will be heading to NC State next year for his official visit.

"I'll be visiting there in January," said Barnes. "I'm going to take my visit when I get back from Florida. I don't know the date yet, but I'm going to visit when I get back from that game."

A talented athlete, Barnes still isn't sure where he will play for the Wolfpack. He could start out at tailback or move to wide receiver. He might be able to play the earliest at safety. Either way, it doesn't matter to Barnes, but he hopes to remain on one side of the ball.

"They haven't really talked with me much about it," he said. "Some of the coaches talked with me about returning punts and playing on special teams [next year], but I'm not too sure right now. I'd like to stay on offense, but it doesn't matter. Wherever I can play quickest is where I want to play."

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


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