Penn State's frantic finish to the recruiting season rolls on today with the commitment of defensive end Deion Barnes of Philadelphia, PA. Lions 24/7 has the story.
"I am making this decision because of academics and the comfort level," (Barnes) told 247Sports.com. "I am not going to be one of those guys that just stays three years, I want to be there for four. For those reasons, I am going to Penn State."
The 6'5" 225 lb defensive lineman is rated as a three star prospect by Scout. Rivals is a little more optimistic in giving him four stars and considers him the #6 defensive end in the country. Barnes had an impressive offer list that included Georgia, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Pitt, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Ultimately his decision came down to three schools which were Georgia and Michigan along with the Nittany Lions. He never did visit Michigan, but he made the trip to Athens last weekend and still pulled the trigger for Penn State today.
As a junior Barnes registered 64 tackles with 25 tackles for loss. He also had 8 sacks and two fumble recoveries returning one of them for a touchdown. As a senior, Barnes stepped it up with 85 tackles, another 25 TFL, 13 sacks, and three blocked punts.
Unfortunately, there isn't much quality video on him in the YouTubes, but here's a very touching story about Barnes growing up on the tough city streets of Philadelphia. When I read stories like this about kids getting out of the death grip of the inner city to get a college education and make something of themselves so they can take care of their family, it makes me appreciate the game of college football and guys like Joe Paterno all the more.
Barnes is the 14th commitment for the class of 2011. (15th if you include Shyquawn Pullium who committed last year and took a greyshirt.) He joins an impressive group of defensive lineman to commit to Penn State that includes Anthony Zettel, Shawn Oakman, and Jordan Kerner.
The recruiting class that looked like it was in shambles two months ago is now looking pretty good. Welcome to Penn State, Deion.