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2018 4* OT William Barnes

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Apopka, FL (Apopka)

Ht 6-4 Wt 312

247 Profile

Offers include AU, Florida, Bama, FSU, UGA, Michigan, tOSU, & Vols

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SECCountry Article

 

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Top-70 prospect calls Auburn ‘different’

ORLANDO, Fla. — The emcee of the Orlando Under Armour regional camp began reading off names Sunday, announcing the six players who earned invitations to the annual Under Armour All-America Game. Most of the names listed came from two powerhouse high schools in the state of Florida — IMG Academy and Lakeland. Those two schools historically have received more exposure than most high schools in the state.

And then there was the sixth. From Apopka (Fla.), 4-star offensive tackle William Barnes broke the trend of IMG and Lakeland athletes. Barnes received an invitation to the all-star game based on his showing at the regional recruiting camp.

“I feel great about my performance. I competed with these guys. I felt like I did what I needed to do to come out here and earn what I got,” Barnes told SEC Country.

Speaking of exposure, however, this is nothing new for Barnes.

He is ranked the No. 69 overall player in the nation, which is good enough for eighth among offensive tackles. Barnes stands 6-foot-4 and 309 pounds and there doesn’t appear to be a pound of bad weight. Barnes is a hot commodity on the recruiting trail — and in postseason All-American games. Once the U.S. Army Bowl caught word of his Under Armour invite, the other big national All-American game didn’t hesitate to extend an offer to that game too.

One way or another, Barnes will end up playing against some of the nation’s best in a postseason all-star game.

The bigger unknown: Where will Barnes attend college in 2018?

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Auburn OL coach Herb Hand (Kenny Moss/Getty Images)

His decision isn’t close. Barnes isn’t married to the idea of a blowout Signing Day ceremony, but that timeframe is what he’s shooting for to allow plenty of time to do his recruiting homework. He’s already narrowing in on some of his favorites. Barnes names Auburn, Florida, North Carolina and Florida State, though that’s an unofficial, flexible list of “top schools.”

“It’s not my top 5. I’m still enjoying the recruiting process. I’ve got a lot of time to check those schools out and see what the best fit for me is,” Barnes said. “But those good SEC and ACC schools are what I’m looking at most. Mostly Florida, North Carolina and Auburn.”

The popular opinion is that Barnes will end up at Florida because of the in-state pull.

Barnes admitted that the Florida-based pressure is something he has to deal with occasionally, but it’s “definitely not” something that will affect his decision. That’s not to downplay the Gators’ chances with Barnes. Of his nine Crystal Ball selections, eight go in Florida’s favor, though as Barnes mentioned, he’s nowhere near a final decision.

Auburn finds itself in as good of position it can be in this early.

“The way it feels out there is different. When I’m on the Auburn campus, it just feels like I’m in college. The town, the people are always great. It’s just a great place to be in,” Barnes said. “And definitely Coach (Herb) Hand. I talk to him a lot. We’ve been talking recently.”

Barnes’ options aren’t done building. The offensive tackle — he wants to play tackle, but said he can play “anywhere on the line” — has picked up offers from Oregon and Michigan in the last week. Before that, the top-70 prospect had offers from Alabama, Georgia, UCLA, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Florida State, North Carolina, Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, Miami and several others.

He’s been on Auburn’s campus. Now that it’s starting to reach decision time, Barnes plans to return soon.

“I plan on coming up there for a spring practice,” Barnes said.

 

 

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Seems like a young man who has a level head on his shoulders. I hope all that leads him to AU.

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Top-100 OL breaks down Alabama, Auburn, Florida

SEC Country Florida reporter Zach Abolverdi went to Apopka (Fla.) Tuesday to speak with top-100 offensive lineman William Barnes.

Barnes remains one of Auburn’s top wants in the 2018 recruiting class. The No. 45-ranked prospect in the nation is considered a strong Florida lean, but is considering at least Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State and North Carolina, as well.

The Auburn connection goes way back to a camp he particiapted in last summer and a strong relationship with offensive line coach Herb Hand.

“The campus was just gorgeous to me. I definitely enjoyed the players, too. They were cool to just talk to. I seen them practice a little bit before. That’s something I enjoyed, too. I also loved being coached by coach Hand too, going up there for a camp one time. That was definitely enjoyable,” Barnes said. “I love the way they treat their players. They take care of them. I love the schools and the coaches too. Coach Hand. He’s always on my Twitter, texting me. It’s always stuff that I appreciate.”

 

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"They take care of (their players)"

I thought we weren't supposed to talk about the bag man. 

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