Seeing a sold-out stadium storm the field on day one of an official visit was a good start for Alex Barnes to say the least. The Pittsburg (Kansas) running back returned home from Rutgers Monday tired, but feeling good about his weekend.
“It was really cool,” Barnes said. “It was a lot different than what I’m used to, but it was a lot more than I expected also. I thought the energy there was amazing. Seeing them beat an opponent like Michigan, even though it’s a down year for them, really meant a lot to that community.”
Barnes enjoyed the buzz from Saturday night, but the most important portions of the visit came Sunday and Monday. Being recruited as a running back, Barnes got an inside look at the program from host Justin Goodwin.
Goodwin got 11 touches for 40 yards in the victory over Michigan, and spent time with Barnes the rest of the weekend.
“He reminded me a lot of myself,” Barnes said. “He was kind of a quiet guy, but he knew what he was talking about, well educated. He was a lot of fun to be with.”
Rutgers had just one official visitor on the weekend. That allowed head coach Kyle Flood to make plenty of time for Barnes, who also enjoyed the traditional visit to Manhattan.
“I got to see New York City for the first time, so that was very cool,” he said. “I actually ate breakfast and dinner with coach Flood on Sunday. I thought that was pretty neat. That doesn’t happen everywhere. That was awesome.
“I learned that they’re a tight-knit group, and that coach Flood does an amazing job leading that program. He’s one of the more personable coaches I’ve ever met.”
Barnes saw an inside look at the academics and support system at Rutgers, which is important for his family in approaching a decision.
“I learned a lot about Rutgers academically,” he said. “They’re one of the top programs in the nation for a lot of their fields of study. That’s always another plus, especially with my mother.”
“I need to take all of my officials and compare the pros and cons,” he said.