Story and video courtesy of Josh Webb, BarkBoard.com
Bakersfield (Calif) Liberty HS middle linebacker Krys Barnes has been one of the Valley’s hottest prospects since he picked up a USC offer at the end of January. In true rivalry fashion, Barnes would end up picking his dream school, UCLA, a mere six months later. Barnes chose the Bruins over the Trojans, Boise State, LSU, Fresno State, and many more. The Bruins were happy to pluck the linebacker out of the Valley, but Barnes decided that he wanted to bring a few people with him to Westwood. The season may be here, but Barnes is still 100% committed and happy with UCLA.
”I’m 100% committed,” Barnes said. “I’m not going anywhere. There’s no other place I would rather be. I love that school. I love the coaching staff. I love the players. I’m 100% committed."
After making his decision early to focus on his senior season, Barnes has been all UCLA and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Barnes had been actively recruiting for the Bruins and one of the recruits Barnes has been working on flipping is Mique Juarez, a Trojan commit. While Barnes was all too happy to put on the recruiting hat during the summer, he now says it is time to turn his focus to his senior senior. That doesn’t mean he still won’t be in Juarez’s ear, just that his focus has to be on his teammates and his season.
”Now that the season has started, I really don’t talk to him that much,” Barnes said. “II let him focus on his season and I focus on my season. I can’t really say what all we talk about, but he’s a great player and I’m going to push and push and push to get him over to UCLA. I do feel like he is going to flip, but who knows? It’s his decision in the end."
"The whole situation with Daelin Hayes, if we can get him to flip -- wherever he goes, it’s going to be a tremendous fit for him. I mean, I’m gonna do my part for this season, focus on this season, and focus on the year."
While Friday night’s game against Mission Viejo didn’t go the way Barnes would have liked, the future Bruin did his part and showed leadership the entire game. Never once getting down on his teammates, Barnes helped Liberty engineer a minor comeback with his defensive play and probably stopped Mission from taking an even bigger lead early on when his huge stop behind the line forced the Diablos into a third down and long. The Patriots intercepted the ball on the very next play and Barnes’ stop was a huge reason why.
Even though Barnes is focused on the season and helping Liberty rebound against rival Ridgeview, he still plans to spend as much time as he can around Westwood during the coming season. He hasn’t had the chance to look over the schedule and pick the game he’ll start with, but he’s pretty confident that he will be able to make every game the Bruins play at home. He also has an official visit scheduled for early October.
"I’m not too sure,” Barnes said. "I haven’t looked at the schedule yet, but I know I will probably be there when it is a home game. My official is set for October 3rd against Arizona State.”
If Barnes has his way, there will be a couple other players all-in on UCLA by the time his official visit rolls around. After all, what is a party without a few friends?
For more of Barnes' thoughts on UCLA and the upcoming season, click play on the above. Keep it right here at Bruin Report Online for all the latest on your UCLA Bruins 2016 recruiting class.