Poncho Barnwell came out of East High School in Rochester (NY). He had a combination of size and speed that made him an intriguing prospect. Syracuse fans were excited about his potential. Unfortunately, he ended up on a slightly different path attending Nassau Community College.
"It was alright," Barnwell recalled. "It was a different experience. It wasn't what I expected. I wasn't prepared, fully, for it. But I'm prepared this year. I'm ready for the competition.
"I'm working on it. I'm better prepared for how things are this year. I'm trying to be a leader on the field this year. I'm working hard everyday. It was a good season. This was one of the best teams I've been on. The people that were there, we had a lot of talent."
Looking forward to his second season at Nassau, the 6-foot-4 prospect has clear goals for himself and the team. He is also hoping to see the field more, as he finished last season with only eight tackles and half a sack.
"My main goal is to get a championship," Barnwell described. "I want to play better than I did last year. And I want to become a leader on the field and off the field."
The time at Nassau has done Barnwell some good. It has allowed him to learn how to prepare at the next level, and improve his routine off the field.
"Before I came here, I never really went to the weight room," the talented defensive end claimed. "Now I'm lifting weights daily. I listen more and I watch film. A lot of things like that, that were more complicated that I had to get better at. I never did those things before and now I do. It's made me a better player.
"The coaches have been great. I have a very good relationship with them. They've helped me get better."
During his time at Nassau, he has not been contacted by any division one programs. Though he still considers himself committed to the school he planned to attend after high school, the new Orange staff has not been in contact yet. He is still looking forward to his time at Syracuse, however.
"No I haven't," Barnwell admitted. "I'm still committed to Syracuse. I haven't talked to the new staff yet though. I'm willing to listen to other schools, but I'm committed to Syracuse.
"I'm looking forward to the facilities and a different environment. The people, and a way to better myself in school. I'm looking forward to going to Syracuse."