Barnes Schedules UNC Official

Florida State verbal commitment Tavaris Barnes has officially visited South Carolina and has official trips scheduled to two more schools.

He'll head to Clemson on Jan. 8 and North Carolina on Jan. 15. He plans to also visit Florida State and either Georgia or Georgia Tech.

"I want to make sure I'm making the right decision," Barnes said. "I'm interested in all these schools."

Barnes, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive lineman from Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast, verbally committed to Florida State in mid-June. He says his pledge is now of "medium" strength.

"[The coaching transition] maybe a little bit had to do with [me looking at other schools], but not really," Barnes said.

Over the weekend, Barnes took his first official visit – to South Carolina.

"South Carolina really impressed me a lot," Barnes said. "It gave me a lot to think about… I really did like South Carolina. Everything was nice – the facilities, I met a lot of coaches, players. I just enjoyed myself the whole weekend."

UNC has been recruiting Barnes since the spring and didn't let up when he made his verbal commitment. Barnes says he and the UNC staff have maintained weekly contact.

Barnes says he hears equally from Butch Davis, John Blake, UNC's defensive line coach, and Troy Douglas, Barnes' primary recruiter. The trio visited Barnes' home Tuesday.

"They talked about everything about the school," Barnes said. "They talked a lot about playing time."

Barnes says he's looking forward to his first visit to UNC.

Barnes won't finalize his collegiate decision until Signing Day. Obviously, his official visits will have a major impact on that decision.

"[I'm focused on] campus life – whether I'm comfortable there or not," Barnes said. "Fan base is important. Playing time [is important], but pretty much every school I know that I'm not going to be able to play [right away] because I'm small."

Tavaris Barnes Profile


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