May 16, 2009

Tide shows interest in DT

Jacksonville (FL) defensive tackle Tavaris Barnes has flown under the radar during the early part of the recruiting season but one look at his offer list will show he is one of the most highly desired defensive linemen in the South. Barnes has amassed offers from Florida, Florida State, South Carolina and Clemson just to name a few and now the speedy pass rusher may soon be adding another school to the list.

"Alabama has been talking to me an awful lot lately and I think they are pretty close to offering," said Barnes. "I don't really know too much about Alabama right now, other than it's obviously a very good program that would give me a good chance to get into the NFL. Alabama is showing a lot of interest in me so I'm planning on maybe taking a visit so I can get a better idea of what they are all about."

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound lineman has an early top five among the schools that have offered him thus far, but Barnes admits that list could change as he continues to receive more offers.

"Right now, my top five are North Carolina, Florida State, Florida, South Carolina and Maryland. I'm not limiting myself to staying in the state. If I found a program that felt like a great fit, I would have no problem leaving the state."

After receiving an offer from Florida, Barnes was close to committing but after watching more offers roll in, he decided to take his time and investigate all his options.

"I'm still working on my summer schedule but I know for sure that I'm going to the Florida and Florida State camps. I will probably go to at least one more."

"I was pretty close to making a decision at one point but I think I've decided to slow things down and take my time. I've got a lot I still want to learn about some of the other schools recruiting me and I'm planning to take all my visits before I make a decision."

Barnes racked up 60 tackles and six sacks as a junior at First Coast and runs a 4.7 forty.

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