SAF Khalil Barnes of Bogart, GA was back at Clemson Saturday for the Syracuse game. Barnes has been giving the Tigers a serious look since receiving an offer from them in late September. Not long after that, he decommitted from Wake Forest, and his recruiting took off with offers coming in from Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Notre Dame.
Barnes was taken inside the Clemson program Saturday by Dabo Swinney and the coaches and really liked what he saw.
“Meeting with Coach Swinney before the game, and after the game, seeing history being made and the atmosphere in that locker room was cool,” Barnes recalled about what he most enjoyed about the day. “Everybody was celebrating saying everybody doubted us, everybody thought it was over. It’s a four-quarter game. They never lost faith and they always knew they could win the game, and to come back to do it was cool. And then Coach Swinney coming in with that same kind of energy for his team was cool to see.”
Barnes has talked a lot with Clemson safeties coach Mickey Conn during his recruitment with the idea he’ll play back there if he joins the Tigers, so he kept a watchful eye on that part of the field Saturday.
“I like the way they played,” Barnes said. “It didn’t look like anything I’d never seen or something I couldn’t do as an athlete. I just feel comfortable with it. Coach Conn has a lot of confidence in his guys. We were talking afterwards and there was a play Andrew Mukuba gave up. Coach Conn got on to him because that’s a play Andrew has got to make. That stood out to me because most coaches, it’s like it’s just one catch and it’s OK. It just seems like he has a ton of confidence in his players.”
Barnes has more recruiting activity ahead of him, including an official visit with Clemson the weekend of the USC game in late November, and this visit keeps the Tigers in strong contention.
“They were one of the top schools I was thinking of, but that meeting with Coach Swinney and them expressing that I am a priority, it’s not just them talking,” Barnes said. “Yes, it’s definitely a place where I feel comfortable enough, but I’m going to keep praying on it and going on a few more trips. I definitely like Clemson a lot.”
Barnes said he will take an official visit to Notre Dame the weekend of October 29th when the Irish play Clemson. He’s also like to get a visit done with Oklahoma. He plans to make his decision in December.