John Barnes has been through the recruiting process more times than he can count. "I've probably had 120 scholarship players here," said Barnes. "It won't be anything new to me, just a little different."
Jimmy Barnes, John's son, will see a steady diet of college coaches and is starting to get a lot of attention from schools already. "He was born and raised on the football field," said John Barnes of his son Jimmy. "I think that's helped him. We've had a bunch of schools here already. He's 6-5 and 225 already so he's got NFL size already."
Jimmy was just the 4th junior to start for Los Alamitos at quarterback in the 20+ years of coaching under John Barnes. Jimmy impressed throwing for 2,346 yards and 20 touchdowns and leading his team to an 11-2 record. "He had a pretty good year," said John. "He was named All CIF Division I, which is kind of a big thing around here."
Plenty of schools are interested in Barnes already. "We've had a lot of schools come by. He has an offer from Alabama and a few from Pac 10 schools. I don't really want to say anything about offers because I think that can hurt you," said John. "Notre Dame came by here today and coach Diedrick spent most of the day here."
Barnes said Diedrick was really impressed with what he saw in Jimmy. "Jimmy went to Notre Dame camp last summer. He did really well there, but he also had some things he needed to work on. Now, he's a completely different quarterback. He's changed his body a lot and I think he (Diedrick) was really surprised by that. His arm is really, really strong. His feet have really improved. Coach Diedrick spent a long time here so I think he's pretty interested."
We asked John what Diedrick told him about how the Irish plan to handle quarterback recruiting this year. "He said they are looking at three or four guys this year," said Barnes. "He said that three out of the four are coming to camp for sure, and that Jimmy was the fourth and he was hoping he'd see him there."
Will Jimmy be going to Irish camp? "Well, he went last year and we thought we might broaden his horizons a bit. He's going to Alabama camp on June 17th. We hadn't planned on sending him to Notre Dame. But, we'll sit down and talk tonight about it. If he really wants to go back, we'll just send him back out there."
The Irish have been a favorite of Jimmy's for quite a while. "He has a fondness for Notre Dame," said Barnes. "I think if they would've offered a year ago, he'd be packing his bags already. But, with all the schools coming, he's interested in other schools. He's going to take a look at a bunch of schools. I don't know when he'll decide. Quarterbacks usually don't get to wait because schools want to know they are getting a good one."
Comments: The Irish certainly appear interested in Barnes. Jimmy is not in Diedrick's recruiting territory so with the Diedrick visit, one can be assured Notre Dame is certainly interested in Barnes. We'll speak with Jimmy soon to get his thoughts on the Irish and recruiting.