June 26, 2007

Wolfpack land five-star stud

Bunn, N.C. athlete Brandon Barnes is one of only 27 five-star prospects in the nation for the class of 2008. The 6-foot-0, 185-pounder was expected to wait and make his decision following a few official visits. However, Barnes decided to end the process early and stay close to home.

"I committed to NC State today," said Barnes. "I just felt it. I was going to wait and take my time and some official visits, but I just felt great at NC State. They were always my favorite school in state and I love the opportunity at running back there. It was just the right thing to do."

Barnes was on NC State's campus on Tuesday on an unofficial visit and spoke with numerous recruits. He also talked to his recruiting coach, Jason Swepson, NC State recruiting coordinator Jerry Petercuskie and head coach Tom O'Brien.

"The running back situation is great," Barnes said. "Toney Baker and Andre Brown could both leave early and there's a great chance to come in and play early. Most likely I'll be a running back at NC State, that's what I'd prefer. I don't mind playing defense but I like offense better. It's one of the big reasons I picked State, they wanted me as a running back from the start and they have a great tradition at the position."

Location was also a factor.

"I'm only about 40 minutes away from home so on the weekends I can go home and chill if I want to," he said. "And for my family to come and see me play is big. Being close to home because important to me."

Barnes chose NC State over offers from more than 40 programs including Florida, Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Clemson, South Carolina, Auburn, UNC, Virginia Tech and many others. Is the process over?

"I feel comfortable with this decision," he said. "It feels right. I have a good connection to the coaches and players so this is where I want to be."

Barnes will be working on other recruits for the Wolfpack.

"T.J. Graham and Terrell Manning were at NC State today so I'm working on them a bit," he said. "I'm hoping they'll be joining me soon."

Barnes rushed for 518 yards and 5 scores as a junior and caught 4 tocuhdown passes as well. On defense he had five interceptions and 77 tackles. He is the top player in the state of North Carolina and ranked as the No. 25 player in the country.

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