Barnes Talks Visits, Top Five

Philadelphia defensive end remains a highly coveted recruit. Where do the Nittany Lions rate with the four-star prospect?

Deion Barnes remains one of the nation's most coveted defensive ends and the four-star prospect out of Northeast High in Philadelphia is willing to wait and make "the right decision" on where to play his college football.

Barnes, who recently released his top five of Penn State, Pittsburgh, Georgia, South Carolina and Michigan, said a decision will come this January at the earliest.

Barnes lives a little over three hours from Penn State, which he says is a big selling point on the school. He notes that his mother can come watch him play. But there is more.

"I really like the coaching staff," Barnes said. "They produce a lot of defensive ends, I think like six or seven to the NFL from like 2000 to 2010. That's a lot and I like that."

He's been to campus several times and raves about the team's facility and the vibe he is picking up from the program on the recruitment trail. He seems to like everything about State College.

"I like the campus life a lot. It is one of the best campuses I have been to," Barnes said.

All five of the programs in his final five will get an official visit, he says.

Barnes says that he likes Pitt because "they led the nation in sacks last year" but he wants to see the campus. Earlier this year, he only saw the team's training facility and caught a basketball game. He wants to see if the campus is located in the city, something that isn't necessarily a selling point for him.

Georgia, he says, is intriguing because of its 3-4 defense and that the Bulldogs are interested in him as a defensive end or a linebacker. He thinks this versatility could help his stock in the NFL. Another SEC program, South Carolina, is high on his list too.

"That was my first offer — they were the first ones after me," Barnes said. "I want to see what a game there is like."

Having visited Ann Arbor for the spring game, Barnes walked away impressed and had a good time there. He was especially enthused about the team's strength and conditioning program and the quality of athletes the program produce. Barnes simply says he "wants to learn more about them — I want to learn about the program and the coaching staff." He says that he wants a winning program, so he will be watching to see how Michigan does this year and if the Wolverines have righted the ship after some recent struggles.

"I want to see if they win this year," Barnes said. "Because coach Rich Rodriguez might not be around next year if they don't."

Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at and followed at

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