SAF/WR Khalil Barnes of Bogart, GA had his choice of positions to play in college based on which school was recruiting him. In the end, he chose to go on the defensive side as a safety and committed to Clemson Friday morning. He chose the Tigers over Notre Dame and Oklahoma who both offered the opportunity to play receiver.
“I visited there the most out of any of the schools I visited,” Barnes said after making his announcement. “The decision was real easy.”
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and safeties coach Mickey Conn set their sights on Barnes several months ago. He committed to Wake Forest in June but decommitted in October after receiving the Clemson offer. That set the wheels in motion that led to a visit for the Syracuse game in October and his ultimate decision in December.
“I like the way they played,” Barnes said in October. “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 later returned to Clemson for his official visit for the USC weekend. Throughout the recruiting process by Clemson, Barnes said he always felt he was a priority.
“They really want you to know that they are recruiting you to be a part of their team,” he said in October. “The end of every conversation Coach Conn always ends it up, ‘You know we need you now, we’d love for you to be a Tiger.’ I get a lot of that for sure.”
This season Barnes totaled 44 tackles with 8 interceptions and 7 passes broken up. He also caught 53 passes for 879 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Clemson 2023 commitments:
- AVIEON TERRELL CB 6-0 170 ATLANTA
- BRANDEN STROZIER CB 6-2 175 ALPHARETTA, GA
- SHELTON LEWIS CB 5-11 180 STOCKBRIDGE, GA
- DAVID OJIEGBE DE 6-3 235 WASHINGTON, DC
- AJ HOFFLER DE 6-5 240 COLLEGE PARK, GA
- TOMARRION PARKER DE 6-4 250 PHENIX CITY, AL
- VICTOR BURLEY DT 6-4 278 WARNER ROBINS, GA
- STEPHIYLAN GREEN DT 6-4 275 ROME, GA
- PETER WOODS DT 6-2 265 ALABASTER, AL
- JAMAL ANDERSON LB 6-4 195 HOSCHTON, GA
- DEE CRAYTON LB 6-2 215 ALPHARETTA, GA
- IAN REED OT 6-5 310 AUSTIN, TX
- HARRIS SEWELL OT 6-4 290 ODESSA, TX
- ZECHARIAH OWENS OT 6-7 355 MCDONOUGH, GA
- CHRISTOPHER VIZZINA QB 6-4 207 BIRMINGHAM
- JARVIS GREEN RB 5-11 192 DUTCH FORK
- KYLEN WEBB SAF 6-1 180 SARASOTA, FL
- ROB BILLINGS SAF 6-1 185 ALPHARETTA, GA
- KHALIL BARNES SAF 5-11 175 BOGART, GA
- OLSEN HENRY TE 6-4 210 NAPLES, FL
- MARKUS DIXON TE 6-5 230 WARMINSTER, PA
- NOBLE JOHNSON WR 6-3 205 ROCKWALL, TX
- RONAN HANAFIN WR 6-3 205 CAMBRIDGE, MA
- MISUN KELLEY WR 5-11 177 DANIEL
- TYLER BROWN WR 6-0 160 GREENVILLE