Mention the Friendswood Mustangs football team and one will conjure images of one of the state's most explosive offenses. Under the guidance of coach Steve Van Meter, the school has had a long list of prolific quarterbacks in the last two decades, including the likes of current Texas Tech's Jacob Karam and current starter Pete Matezold.
But the school has also produced its share of talented defensive standouts, including LB Beau Barnes, who helped the Mustangs reach the 4A, Region III finals (Division II) this past season. The 6-4, 225-pounder, who began the season as a defensive end, moved to linebacker and wreaked havoc upon opposing ballcarriers, recording 93 tackles.
"Our defense really struggled at first, but we really stepped it up."
The Mustangs' defensive rise began when he moved to linebacker. From there, Friendswood won six straight games before falling to 24-4A rival Pearland Dawson.
Barnes also had six sacks and 13 tackles for loss to go along with four forced fumbles. With his size, athleticism and academic prowess (he was also named to the District 24-4A all-academic team), he has begun to appear on the radar of several schools as National Signing Day draws near.
The second-team all-stater has already received an offer from Air Force, an accomplishment that would send Barnes to one of the nation's most prestigious schools and give him the opportunity to play in the ultra-competitive Mountain West Conference.
"I'm very humbled by the offer," he said.
Barnes, who has also drawn attention from Utah State, would like to stay close to home and holds the vision of being able to have family and friends able to watch him play each Saturday.
"Being able to play nearby would mean everything to me," Barnes said. "If I had my choice, I would love to play (college football) in Texas."
Barnes is scheduled to visit Air Force later this month. He has already decided that he would pursue a law degree once he chooses a school to attend.
"I'm going to work harder than anyone else because (attending college) is important to me," he said. "A school wouldn't have to be worry aboutmy character or grades. I've been associated with winning programs and would be able to help a program succeed."