When Schiano left for Tampa Bay, however, Barnwell's knowledge and comfort with the program dropped until he met with new coach Kyle Flood earlier in the week.
"They're a good group of guys up there," Barnwell said. "I didn't know a lot of them since Coach Schiano left, but they were all helpful. I liked it. They pretty much answered all of my questions and it made me feel a lot better about Rutgers after the visit."
Barnwell knew Flood from visits and his relationship with Piscataway head football coach Dan Higgins, but said meeting him officially as the head coach was a different experience.
"It was great," Barnwell said. "I liked a lot of the new coaches that I met. I had a great time meeting Coach Flood. He's a cool guy. I liked him."
Keeping Robb Smith on staff and promoting him from special teams to defensive coordinator will help in Barnwell's recruitment. Smith recruited Piscataway Township High School the last three seasons and gave Barnwell a familiar sight on his Monday visit.
"Me and Coach Smith have a really great relationship," Barnwell said. "I've known him for a while, since I started high school. Him being the defensive coordinator is even better. I know him and I could see myself playing defense for him."
Barnwell will be back at Rutgers Sunday for the sold out basketball game against No. 2 Syracuse.
"I'd like to see that," Barnwell said. "I'm really excited to meet other recruits and spend more time with the coaches and Coach Flood. I really want to see Syracuse because I've watched them a lot this year. It's exciting that they're coming to play Rutgers. They have a great basketball team this year and it's going to be a pretty good game."
Barnwell holds verbal offers from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Notre Dame and South Carolina. He plans to begin narrowing his list closer to the start of his senior season after taking a series of unofficial visits.