The defensive back production train in Fresno’s west side continues to steam along, as Fresno (Calif.) Edison cornerback Mckenzie Barnes is the latest national recruit for the Tigers – with three scholarship offers in tow including a latest from Nevada on Feb. 27.
And it was a familiar face in Edison lore who reached out to the 6-foot-2 Barnes about his Wolf Pack offer: Former Tigers standout and new Nevada defensive back coach Courtney “Chip” Viney.
“Coach Chip Viney was the coach who offered me. We had been in contact for a while and he was just making sure that I was one of the dogs that he talks about all the time,” Barnes told Scout.
Being a cornerback and national recruit is nothing new at Edison. Past stars like Viney, Ricky Manning, Johnny Sears, Tyler Horton and countless of others have gone on the same path Barnes is partaking in.
Barnes, who is a 3.3 student off the field, also holds offers from Cal Poly and Sacramento State, the latter arriving his way on the last day of his sophomore year in June 2016.
“It truly is a blessing to have more than one offer in my possession because it gives me options that I understand many other athletes sometimes do not have,” Barnes said.
On film, Barnes embodies a traditional Edison defender: Long, athletic and feisty. He uses his wide receiver-like size to hover over the top receiving option on the other side. He also thrives on jamming receivers at the line; a common staple among Tiger cornerbacks coached by longtime defensive back coach Tony Perry. Additionally, he’s tried safety, and describes the position as his “second love.”
And Perry has served as Barnes’ chief recruiting advisor - just like many other past Tiger stars or athletes hailing from West Fresno.
“Coach Perry is my guy and it is truly a blessing to be around him and have him in my life. The same T.P. who has been producing college icons,” Barnes said.
Perry isn’t the only Tiger who demands excellence from Barnes. Fellow national recruit Steve Stephens also pushes Barnes to be at the top of his game.
“Steve Stephens is my best friend. It gets really competitive when we get on the field because we are just trying to better each other,” Barnes said. “But after we get off the field, we’re right back to being buddies.”
Barnes plans to make his college decision around Thanksgiving 2017 or the winter break session at EHS.