June 28, 2006

Barnes loves USC visit, decision looming

Charlotte (N.C.) Independence wide receiver Jason Barnes made the short trip from Charlotte to Columbia over the weekend, his third such unofficial visit to South Carolina this summer. If the Gamecock coaches get their way, it will be the third of many trips down I-77 for Barnes.

"I went with my parents down to South Carolina on Saturday, and we really enjoyed ourselves," the 6-foot-3.5, 197-pound Barnes said. "They showed me how much they want me and what all they have to offer. It was another good visit."

Barnes, who ran the 40-yard dash at the Athens NIKE Camp in 4.45 seconds, spent a lot of time with Gamecock head coach Steve Spurrier and wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr..

"Coach Spurrier met with us in his office, and he was just telling us how great things are going to be at South Carolina in the future. He told us a lot about his philosophies and how he does things. My parents really liked him. Coach Spurrier Jr. also spent a lot of time with us. He gave us a tour of all of their facilities, like their film room, the athletic department, the weight room and things like that. My parents really liked everything they saw."

Barnes, who also ran the short shuttle in 4.37 seconds in Athens, will next head to Chapel Hill to visit North Carolina one more time.

"Me and my parents are going to visit North Carolina on July 15th. Right now I'm planning on making that my last visit before making my decision.

Barnes likes multiple aspects of the Tar Heel program as well.

"I think they would treat me like family if I signed with them," he said. "It's a great college that is known for their academics. I met some of their professors last time I was there, and I liked them. They just got a big-time running back (Ryan Houston) and that quarterback (Mike Paulus), so they're putting together a good class. They have good plans for the future."

Barnes believes he has a tough decision ahead of him.

"Both programs are up and coming, and there's so many good things about both of them. It's not going to be easy, but I should be ready to do it sometime after that UNC visit. I'll just take a few days to think about everything and then do it."

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