April 14, 2008

Top LB to check out MSU

When it comes to football talent, SpartanMag.com has long contended that no town in the Midwest may produce as much per capita as Ft. Wayne, Indiana. It is another good year for talent in that area, and linebacker Jordan Barnes leads the way. The 6-foot-0, 220-pound linebacker prospect from Homestead High School already has an impressive list of offers and that could expand in the near future.

Barnes curently has half a dozen scholarship offers including one's from BCS programs Alabama, Purdue, Iowa State and Wisconsin.

Barnes is the son of former Purdue 2-sport star Roosevelt Barnes. That is one of the reasons the Crimson Tide is actively involved in his recruitment. Barnes played football with Alabama Assistant and former Spartan Head Coach Bobby Williams. We asked him about his recent visits to Tuscalossa and West Lafayette?

"I went to Alabama last week and it was really nice, Barnes said. I was impressed with everything I saw there. This weekend I went to Purdue and I liked it there too. I got a chance to speak with Coach Hope. He will be talking over for Coach Tiller. He will be the head coach my freshmen year if I decide to go to Purdue."

As far as Michigan State goes, Barnes does not have an offer from teh Spartans, but that fact could be changing very soon.

"I am going to Michigan State this weekend for their spring game," he said. "I am looking forward to it. They have not said they are going to offer me, but I feel pretty good about it possibly happening."

The Spartans already have a commitment from All-American linebacker Chris Norman of Detroit. That fact is allowing them to be very selective when it comes to linebacker recruiting, especiallly with a limited amount of scholarships available.

If Barnes does receive a Michigan State offer it will be an obvious sign that he is a top priority recruit.

Barnes is listed as an inside linebacker in the Rivals database and that is the position he plays in high school. However, with legit 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash, Barnes knows he could also play outside as well.

The recruitment of Barnes is a sign that the Michigan State staff is back recruiting Indiana earnestly after the John L. Smith era. Currently Head Coach Mark Dantonio personally handled the recruiting of Indiana himself when he was at Michigan State under Nick Saban. Coach Dantonio had a lot of success bringing talenetd kids from the Hoosier State to East Lansing. You can be sure that is a trend he hopes to re-establish now that he is in-charge.

As far as when a decision could be made, Barnes indicated that he would like to make his selection prior to his season, but he is not in a hurry.

"If by the end of the summer I have offers from all the school I really like I will probably make my choice," he said. "If I don't, I may wait a bit and decide later."

Besides the Spartans, a few other high-level schools that are showing Barnes considerable interest at this point are Florida, Florida State, Boston College and Louisville.

SpartanMag.com will be sure to follow-up with Barnes after he returns from checking out Michigan State University.

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