Next in line at Daniel?

by - Staff Writer -

CENTRAL- Next in line at Daniel High School?

Clemson offensive coordinator Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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attended Daniel’s 49-6 victory over Columbia Friday night; however it wasn’t just to see the Lions’ star running back Jae’lon Oglesby.

Morris walked the sideline to get a glimpse of Daniel’s latest Division 1 prospect – junior running back/ tight end Austin Barnes.

The 6-3, 230-pound prospect lined up as a blocking tight end and also carried the ball six times for 34 yards in Friday’s game.

The Tigers are recruiting Barnes to play the same type of role as Zac Brooks – a bigger body with good speed that can run the ball and can also catch the ball out of the backfield or line up at wide receiver.

Barnes told TigerNet Friday night that he watches the Clemson running backs – and in particular Rod McDowell – and tries to mimic McDowell’s game.

“I watch McDowell to see how he does. I try to play like he does with the speed and stuff like that,” Barnes told TigerNet. “It fits me because I’m kind of doing it now. I play fullback, running, back, wide receiver. I’m pretty used to it.”

Barnes said that in addition to Clemson, he is hearing from South Carolina, N.C. State, and Miami.

“He [South Carolina running backs coach Shawn Elliott] was supposed to come up here one day, but Coach [Daniel head coach Randy Robison] Rob was out so he didn’t come,” Barnes said. “I’m trying to get South Carolina to send me stuff. North Carolina State is sending me some stuff. And, they told me that Miami was looking at me.”

However, Barnes doesn’t care who that elusive first offer comes from.

“I know Clemson is interested in me, but it’s really not going to make a difference who offers first,” Barnes said. “I’m going to try to set up an official visit because I’ve never been on one. I’m just ready to get that first offer.”

If that first offer happens to come from South Carolina, it will make all of Barnes’ family happy, except for the lone Clemson fan – his grand mother.

“Ever since I was born my family has been pushing South Carolina, except for my grandma who has wanted me to turn into a Clemson fan,” Barnes said. “I have Clemson stuff since I was a baby, but other than that I’m Carolina.”

However, after attending Clemson’s first two home games, The Tigers have the game day atmosphere in their favor since Barnes has never been to a Carolina game.

“The atmosphere at the Georgia game was crazy,” Barnes said. “When I went down on the sideline and the team came out, everybody went crazy. It made me feel good. Everybody keeps asking me which one is better, Clemson or South Carolina? I haven’t ever been to a South Carolina ballgame.”

Early scouting report

Barnes is still raw in many parts of his game, but showed improvement from week one to week two in his blocking and feel for the game. He runs low to the ground and covers up the football, which is always good to see with a young player. He hasn’t had to do a lot of route running at Daniel, but the Lions plan to incorporate him into the offense more and more as the season goes along. The first thing that stands out to you is his size and strength – on one play he drove a linebacker into the turf. On one running play, he carried three defenders to the goal line. With his size and athleticism, the first offer won’t be long in coming and it might be as early as this week from Clemson. Expect others to follow.

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