Barnes, a 6-foot-4 195-pound wide receiver from Charlotte (N.C.) Independence, has been close to a decision since July, though he remains torn between North Carolina and South Carolina.
"They're both great schools and I'm going to be straight whichever one I go to," said Barnes.
"North Carolina has Hakeem [Nicks], I know he's going to show me the ropes," he added. "When I get there, we're going to be together all over again. It will be different than high school, because in high school you have a premiere receiver that shines, but in college every starter is going to shine so we'll shine together on a big level.
"South Carolina, I'm going to be by myself, but I can still have big games there, too."
Barnes said is legitimately stuck between the two schools.
"I really don't know [where I'm leaning towards] to tell you the truth," said Barnes. "It's one of the hardest decisions of my life.
"Me and Coach [Tom Knotts] are talking about it everyday, me and my parents talk about it. I hope I come up with a decision soon, I'm trying to get it out of the way."
Although Barnes doesn't have a deadline or timeframe, he wants to end his recruitment ASAP.
"I'd liked to get it out of the way as soon as possible," said Barnes. "I'm ready to get it over with just as much as everybody else is."
With hopes of helping him decide, Barnes has spent the last few weekends on the road. He was in Chapel Hill for both the UNC-Rutgers and UNC-Furman games and Columbia for the USC-Georgia game.
"I like North Carolina, because they treat me really well up there and I like the crowd," said Barnes. "The crowd is great [at UNC], but that's the difference between North Carolina and South Carolina – at South Carolina their fans are crazy [and] they have 80 thousand. But that doesn't faze me, I don't really care how many fans I have in the stands, but what I'm doing on field, though.
"All the games were good, though, but the Furman game they came out with the win, but I thought Furman scored too many points. They came out with the ‘W' - that's always good.
"The South Carolina-Georgia game, they could have pulled out [with a win]. They just keep getting turnovers in the last minute. Their defense played a good game [and] the offense should have gotten it together. It was still a good game though."
This weekend, however, Barnes will unofficially visit a school completely out of the picture.
"I could be going to the N.C. State game," said Barnes. "I like N.C. State, but I don't really plan to put them in the running. I'm just coming to watch a game and both South Carolina and North Carolina are away."
Barnes is the go-to receiver in Independence's pro-style passing offense. On the year, Barnes has caught four touchdown passes. Nationally ranked, the Patriots are 4-0 and own the nation's longest active winning streak at 96 games.