Foothill College linebacker Joey Barnes has been among the top linebackers in California for the past two seasons. As the only freshman on the 2000 All-State defense, there were high expectations for him coming into the 2001 season, and he hasn't disappointed. Universities have taken notice and he has his first official visit planned for this weekend.

2001 Prospect Profile

Foothill College Owls

Joey Barnes


6-1, 240 lbs

Live Oak High School
Morgan Hill, California

When Joey Barnes winded up his high school days and prepared for college in the Spring of 1999, he was pretty sure he was going to play soccer at the next level.  He was in contact with nearby Santa Clara University and the coaches were interested in him;  so interested that they had a scholarship to offer him.  There was just one catch: They wanted Joey to enroll at De Anza College for one semester before coming to Santa Clara and having his scholarship begin.

As Joey though about it, he realized that he wanted to play football.  He called San Jose State head coach Dave Baldwin and Baldwin was very interested in Barnes.  However, at that late date, he had no scholarships to offer.  Baldwin promised that if Barnes came to SJSU, he would have a scholarship by the Spring.  Thus, Joey joined the Spartans and redshirted at SJSU during the Fall of 1999.

However, for a variety of reasons, Barnes decided to leave San Jose State and enroll at a junior college and see where else his career might take him. He knew nothing about the area JCs, so he called the coaches at Gavilan, San Jose, and Foothill to inquire about their programs.  The first to call back was from Foothill's Marshall Sperbeck.  To make a long story short, Barnes realized that Foothill was a strong program and enrolled at Foothill for the Spring semester.  Lucky for Foothill.

Joey made a huge impact during his freshman season in 2000.  He was the team's defensive leader, both from a leadership standpoint and a statistical standpoint.  His 130 tackles, 98 of which were solo and two interceptions made him a huge part of the Owls' defense. 

Joey was excited to learn that he made first team All-Golden Gate Conference following the season.  He never would have guessed, however, that he would also be named All-Region II and ultimately first team All-State.  He was the only freshman on the All-State defense.  It was an outstanding freshman season for Barnes.  And he expected to pick up right where he left off for the 2001 season, and he hasn't disappointed.

Barnes is the backbone of the Owls' defense in 2001.  Teams usually run away from his location on the strong side of the ball.  When Joey plays, he makes tackles all over the field.  He makes hits in the offensive backfield, in the secondary, and from sideline to sideline.  He is literally everywhere!  The defense rallies around Joey Barnes.

As might be expected, universities have certainly taken notice of Joey.  He will be taking his first official visit this weekend to the University of Nevada in Reno.  The Wolfpack coaches are talking about having Barnes come in and start right away on a very young team. 

Joey is also receiving calls from the University of Utah on a weekly basis.  Other schools in regular contact with Joey include Wyoming, San Jose State, and Western Michigan.  In addition, the University of Florida recently requested film on Barnes.

Joey is receiving a lot of attention, and rightfully so.  At 6-1, 240-pounds, Barnes runs as well as many defensive backs.  His forty time is routinely clocked in the 4.5 to 4.6 range.  He has raced defensive backs on his team and come out on top.  Joey may be among the most athletic linebackers in the state.

Joey is in no hurry to sign.  He will review all of his options before making a sound decision.  He will be able to transfer in January and participate in Spring football at whichever university he signs with, making him all the more attractive as a recruit.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Joey and chatting with him several times and I can't say enough about his personable nature and friendly personality.  Any university would be fortunate to sign a player with his great combination of character and athleticism and great attitude.  Best of luck to Joey!

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