That would be the most fitting word to describe Bakersfield (Calif.) Liberty linebacker Krys Barnes’ visit to USC on Saturday afternoon. It was also the word Barnes used 21 times to describe it in a five-minute phone conversation Saturday evening.
“USC’s Junior Day was great,” he said. “Everything about it from the facilities to the academics to the environment, everything around USC, it was a great day.”
But there was one part of the day that was even more impressive for the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder: a sneak attack USC scholarship offer from head coach Steve Sarkisian.
“I didn’t really see it coming. I got pulled into Coach Sark’s office and he told me that the whole coaching staff sat down this morning and watched my film and they were all fired up about it.”
“That alone is just great to hear. To be able to know that the whole USC coaching staff is excited about me.”
At first, Barnes said he was in shock. It took him a moment to fully comprehend the situation and have it sink in.
“It’s just a great feeling and a great opportunity to further my education and my football career at such a great school,” Barnes said. “Me and my dad are happy about this offer and we’re excited to see where it can go.”
“He’s the first one that told me they really liked me,” Barnes said of Sirmon. “They said they sat down to look at my film that morning and really enjoyed it. Those two guys were a big impact on the trip.”
Sirmon also talked to him about sticking at middle linebacker, which excited Barnes.
Barnes also enjoyed getting to hang out with some of the other highly rated, top-flight West Coast athletes that USC invited. It was an opportunity to learn more about guys that could become his future teammates at the next level and a chance to see how they interact and to learn more about them.
But the Elite Junior Day and the offer from the Trojans is also another opportunity for Barnes to help showcase his hometown of Bakersfield, a place for which he holds great pride.
“It’s huge to be able to bring this offer back to my hometown and to Liberty High School, to show what’s actually in Bakersfield and kind of be “the thing” around my town,” Barnes said. “It’s great to be able to set a high level for the rest of the community around us. Having an offer from USC when you’re from a town that doesn’t get looked at much by colleges is great.”
He also noted that USC being only two hours away from Bakersfield would allow his family to still be able to see him play and visit regularly. Barnes said he wants to make sure he does his research and fully vets all of the potential schools, but the trip definitely gave him a boost on USC.
“They’re high on my list as well as all my other offers,” Barnes said. “It’s a lot of help going into the process knowing about USC and developing a relationship with the coaches and stuff like that, but it’s going to be a long process.”
Krys Barnes had one big takeaway from the scholarship offer he received at USC’s Elite Junior Day.
“There’s so many more things that we could talk about and say that is great, but all around, it’s just a great opportunity for me.”