|by David Hood|
The talented senior defensive end out of Jacksonville, FL, has seen his playing team increase over each of his first three seasons – he played 73 snaps over nine games as a freshman, 232 snaps over 12 games as a sophomore and 292 snaps over 13 games as a junior.
For his career, Barnes has 45 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, nine quarterback pressures, one pass breakup, and one recovered fumble in 597 snaps over 34 games (one start).
However, Barnes feels like his maturity has finally caught up with his talent and he said he knows he has to take advantage of his final season after foregoing a chance at the NFL during the off-season.
“I know that I can maximize my opportunity during my last year,” Barnes said during the spring. “If I would’ve left last year, I know that I would’ve been hurting myself. I prayed about it and talked to my family and thought that the best decision was to come back and grind and become one of the top defensive ends in the nation next year. I felt like I could help if came back.”
Starting defensive end Corey Crawford will be suspended for the opener at Georgia, and Barnes will likely have to step into a starting role. He showed flashes of his newfound drive and maturity this spring, and could wind up as one of the surprises on the Clemson defense.
However, he knows what he has to do to reach his goals, and what he has to fix.
“Everything. My whole game,” he said. “Intensity. Leading on and off the field and working hard and playing hard and nasty. I'm just playing hard and nasty now, kind of like I did in high school. It's going to get ugly for a lot of people this year. Just playing when I’m tired – having the motor, bringing the intensity. Everything I didn’t do last year. Really listening and taking coaching. I'm tired of playing backseat to people. That's what I've done my whole career here."
Barnes said he has learned to go hard on every play.
“Just being in the right position and knowing what to do and playing fast. Going hard – that’s something that I didn’t do last season. In practice, I’m going hard every play and giving it my all,” he said. “I'm leaving everything all on the field just like Coach (Brent) Venables always says."
More on Tavaris Barnes
*2013: Had 14 tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, four quarterback pressures, and one pass breakup in 292 snaps over 13 games (one start) ... had two tackles and a sack in 22 snaps against #5 Georgia on Aug. 31 ... had one tackle in 15 snaps against S.C. State on Sept. 7; it was his first career start ... had four tackles in 32 snaps at Syracuse on Oct. 5 ... had two tackles and one tackle for loss in 38 snaps at Virginia on Nov. 2.
2012: Had 24 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack, two quarterback pressures, and one recovered fumble in 232 snaps over 12 games ... had three tackles and a recovered fumble in 15 snaps at #4 Florida State on Sept. 22 ... had two tackles and a team-high two quarterback pressures in 22 snaps at Boston College on Sept. 29 ... had two tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss in 19 snaps against Georgia Tech on Oct. 6 ... had four tackles in 30 snaps at Wake Forest on Oct. 25 ... had four tackles and his first career sack in 32 snaps at Duke on Nov. 3 ... had four tackles and one tackle for loss in 20 snaps against Maryland on Nov. 10.
2011: Had seven tackles and three quarterback pressures in 73 snaps over nine games ... had one tackle and a quarterback pressure in 11 snaps in his first career game against Troy on Sept. 3 ... had one tackle and a quarterback pressure in four snaps at #10 Virginia Tech on Oct. 1 ... had one quarterback pressure in six snaps against Boston College on Oct. 8 ... had two tackles in 14 snaps against North Carolina on Oct. 22 ... had one tackle in four snaps at N.C. State on Nov. 19 ... had one tackle in 15 snaps against #22 West Virginia in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4.
Before Clemson: Defensive end who had 80 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, and nine sacks as a senior at First Coast High School ... from a long line of outstanding Tigers from Jacksonville, FL, a defensive heritage that has included nine-time Pro Bowl player Brian Dawkins ... Florida Times-Union Super 24 member ... Florida Times-Union Preseason Super 11 member ... #29 defensive tackle in the nation and #47 player in Florida by Rivals.com ... #73 defensive end in the nation by Scout.com ... #105 defensive end in the nation by ESPN.com ... top-100 player in Florida by SuperPrep ... starter on the basketball team ... coached by Marty Lee at First Coast High School ... recruited by Jeff Scott ... chose Clemson over Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Personal: Majoring in community recreation, sport, & camp management ... born Nov. 2, 1991.
*From his official Clemson bio
David Hood can be reached at email@example.com