Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard cornerback Ryan Barnes has 30-plus scholarship offers, so as you can imagine, his phone is buzzing quite often with coaches from various schools contacting him daily.
Barnes has found recruiting to be even busier than usual during the coronavirus pandemic, as coaches have more time on their hands to talk, but he is isn’t letting the constant attention from his suitors become stressful or get to him.
“It’s a process. I’m enjoying it,” Barnes said. “I’m able to kind of spread things out so I’m not overwhelmed. I’m able to get schoolwork and stuff done, but I know it’s part of the process. I know it’s a lot more than usual, but I’m handling it pretty well.”
Clemson gave Barnes one of his offers in February and got him on campus for the program’s junior day a month later.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder continues to keep in touch with the Tigers, including defensive coordinator Brent Venables and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed.
“We’re checking in with each other, making sure everybody’s doing OK, and just continuing to build that relationship is kind of what we’ve been able to do throughout this situation,” Barnes said. “It’s kind of been a benefit just a little bit with the amount of communication that I’m able to have with them. It helps a lot. It’s an unfortunate situation, but I feel that it’s all right (in terms of recruiting) other than not being able to visit. I’m able to build these relationships and get to know coaches more and who they are as people.”
The consistent communication between Clemson and Barnes has helped him develop an especially strong connection with the coaches there.
“I’m getting a lot of contact, but I feel like with talking to them, I have a better relationship (with Clemson) than most of the schools,” Barnes said. “There are schools that are equal with the communication and building the relationship, but I do feel that it’s definitely a real good relationship that we’ve been building.”
Along with Clemson, Barnes was able to visit Maryland, Georgia, Tennessee and Duke this year before the NCAA suspended all in-person recruiting in mid-March due to COVID-19.
Barnes hopes to wait the pandemic out so he can visit more schools before making his decision. But depending on how long the dead period lasts, Barnes may elect to forego taking other visits and decide to go ahead and commit, though he is not to that point yet.
“I’m still going through this process and I want to still be able to get out to schools if that’s an option,” he said. “If it’s not an option, I feel that I’d be able to make a sound decision – not as of now, but later on, I feel like I wouldn’t really need to see too many other schools.”
“We’re still holding out just a little bit to be able to get out there,” Barnes further explained. “But if it doesn’t happen, we’ve talked as a family and we’re willing to accept the fact that we won’t be able to get out and that we’ll make a decision. I have some great options and I feel that anywhere I choose, it’s going to be a great place.”
What will Barnes bring to the table for whichever program he winds up playing for?
“Aggressive, physical, versatile, athletic, coachable … Just an all-around great player and person who can help impact the team, not only on the field but off the field,” he said.
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