Tavaris Barnes:

by - Senior Writer -

Tavaris Barnes’ Facebook status message said it all on Sunday, and showed just how much he feels like he made the right choice in choosing Clemson over the Florida St.

Barnes is the 6-foot-5 defensive line prospect out of First Coast High School in Jacksonville who committed to Clemson this past weekend, choosing Clemson over his previous commitment in Florida St., and used the social networking site to show he is “all in” with the Tigers.


Barnes did not intend to make any commitments before his visit last weekend, but said he felt so at home with the Clemson coaches and the Clemson area that it was a no-brainer.

“It was the people there, and Coach Swinney, who I got to know better,” Barnes said of his recruiting visit. “It was my first time meeting him, even though he recruits the Jacksonville area a lot. But I met a lot of his staff, and I just felt comfortable there. They treated me like I was family. I know that is where I want to be for the next four years, even outside of football. I can see myself living there and making something of myself.”

Barnes’ switch came as something of a surprise considering FSU already has three former First Coast players on its roster. Also, the Buccaneers have a 2011 prospect, running back Eric Beverly, who has already committed to the Seminoles, but Barnes said he was blown away by the facilities at Clemson, including the West End Zone and Death Valley.

“I thought the new West End Zone was cool, but that stadium was hot,” Barnes said. “I’ve never seen a stadium like that. It seemed like the stands and the people would be all over the football team. It was crazy.”

Barnes and a couple of other prospects were treated to a game-day atmosphere, including donning jerseys in the locker room and making the trip around the stadium to The Hill, rubbing Howard’s Rock, and running down The Hill.

“I like that. It was fun,” Barnes said. “I ran down the hill with a couple of other prospects, and that was fun, too. They didn’t have to do that, but they did, and that meant a lot to me.”

Barnes woke up on Sunday morning, and had a 9:30 meeting with Swinney and Jeff Scott, who has been Barnes’ recruiter for the Tigers, and he and his mother, Tinishia Young, sat down with the two coaches.

“Coach Swinney was talking about things for 30 minutes, telling about the school and being up there,” Barnes said. “I feel like I had their trust. I trust in them and believe in what they can with me, and I told him I wanted to commit and I committed. Coach Swinney jumped up and down, and we started hugging. My momma was crying. It was just crazy.”

Barnes said that even though he is listed as 255 pounds right now, he is actually 238 pounds, and that the Tigers will probably let him compete for playing time at strongside defensive end next season while waiting for him to fill out more. Once that happens, he could move back inside to defensive tackle.

2010 Football Commitments

Tavaris Barnes		DT	6-5 240
David Beasley		OL	6-4 290
Victor Beasley		ATH	6-5 215
Bashaud Breeland	ATH	6-1 190
Desmond Brown		DB	6-0 195
Martavis Bryant		WR	6-4 190
Demont Buice		RB	6-2 205
Ricky Chaney		LB	6-3 200
Sam Cooper		TE	6-5 230
Joe Craig		ATH	6-0 170
Corey Crawford		DE	6-5 235
Kalon Davis		OL	6-5 325
DeAndre Hopkins		ATH	6-2 170
Martin Jenkins		DB	5-9 170
Jake Nicolopulos	LB	6-2 220
Garry Peters		DB	6-0 175
Darius Robinson		DB	6-0 170
Tra Thomas		DT	6-1 270
Gifford Timothy		OL	6-6 290
Josh Watson		DT	6-3 285
Reid Webster		OL	6-5 270

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