Mark Barnes Breaks Down His Recruiting

Mark Barnes recently named Louisville a slight favorite over hometown South Carolina. Find out more about what he thinks about both schools, and one interesting thing that gives Louisville their slight edge. Keep reading to find out his take on the recent South Carolina-Georgia game and how it affected his thinking, and what occurred on his visit to USC last night.

Barnes, ranked as the #4 safety in the nation by and one of the top 50 players regardless of position, is being recruited by the biggest name schools in the country. He is looking at official visits to Virginia Tech, LSU, Southern Cal, and probably Notre Dame. He will take his first official visit to Louisville this weekend. "Louisville is leading just by a little bit right now, but USC is about the same though, South Carolina is right there," he said.

Barnes plays both wide receiver and free safety at Richland Northeast HS (Columbia SC), and is being recruited at both positions in college. When asked if he had a preference on which side of the ball he will play at the next level, Barnes replied, "I really don't have a preference at the next level, I feel that I can do good in each position, so whichever one I can start from or at least get reps in a game the fastest that's most likely what I'll be playing."

"Louisville is talking to me (about playing both ways.) South Carolina, just a little bit. They mostly want me at free safety or wide receiver. I think that actually helps me curve a little bit in favor of Louisville at this point. I like to put my team in the best position of winning so however I can do that, I should do that. If it's playing both sides, then I'm up to doing it, up to the challenge."

When asked what do you find attractive about Louisville right now, Barnes answered, "Basically, the love that I get from there. The coaches try to communicate with me as much as they can. And the way they make it seem like I'm one of their first priorities for next year."

When asked what he found attractive about South Carolina right now, he said, "Basically the same thing, the way I get along with all the coaches and not just one. The way that they're on point about graduating the student athletes and staying on top of the athletes so they can get accomplished whatever they put their mind to.

Barnes attended the South Carolina-Georgia game last weekend, and shared his thoughts about the game. "Like every team has, they always have a downfall, a little miscommunication at least one or two games a season I'm hoping that was just a little wake-up call for them early like our high school was the other night (Richland Northeast was upset by Blythewood), basically just a wakeup call just to wake them up so they can get back on top of their game."

When told that people wonder how a loss affects a recruit's mindset after a visit is a frequent topic on message boards, how much effect a good game or a bad game has on a recruit, Barnes replied, "To me, not really, not at all, it doesn't really affect me, nor does it really affect the people that were around me. Every team goes through that downfall, through a down period, so I feel that's just one game. If it happened consistently and stuff then I would say ok, well, that's a problem. But other than that, every team makes mistakes and doesn't capitalize on opportunities."

Barnes drove across town to the South Carolina campus with a specific purpose in mind last night. "It went pretty well. Tonight was mainly about academics and basically graduating their student athletes. That plays a big factor a big role in picking the school that I want," he said.

"I want to major in psychology. I like to learn about different kinds of things that would really help out when someone comes up to me with a problem or what not I don't just look at one side of the story I look at the other side also and compare them and contrast the whole situation."

Barnes shared he is not happy at this point with the progress of his senior season. "My season is not really like I wanted it to be. Reason why - to me, as well as to fans, parents, they feel like I'm not getting the ball enough for me to be one of the top in the nation," he said. "They feel like I'm just being used as a decoy and not being used like I'm supposed to be used."

"Defensive side of the ball, I can only do so much. I have a great D-line, and great linebacker crew. Whatever happens, it's all on possibilities. If something breaks through, like if my D-line and linebackers have a brain fart or something, then that's when it comes down to my responsibility."

When asked about a time frame for making a decision, Barnes replied, "Not right now. I really don't have a time frame right now, I'm really just trying to weigh it out and pick the best time for me to actually commit."

To follow the progress of Mark Barnes and the other talented players being recruited by South Carolina this year, and to find out what they're really thinking, stay tuned to

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