Richland Northeast (Columbia, SC) 4-star safety Mark Barnes is one of the jewels of South Carolina's…
2007 Signee Receives Good News
Barnes, who was rated by Scout.com as the #6 ranked safety in America in the 2007 recruiting class, has made great strides in the classroom this year, and he recently received a qualifying ACT score to all but assure he will be at South Carolina in the fall.
"Academically, things are looking great," said the 6'3, 190 pound Barnes. "I'm making nothing but A's and B's right now. I got my ACT score, and it was a composite of 20 or 21. My last SAT was a 950, so right now I'm basically academically qualified."
Barnes is currently rehabbing an injured shoulder, but that hasn't stopped him from getting a head start for the fall, as he attended multiple spring practices and has even sat in on certain team meetings to get a better feel for how the Gamecocks operate.
"I'm basically trying to get over (to USC) every time I can to go to the practices and the meetings and just get the vision for it as far as their playbook and how they do things."
The Scout.com 4-star rated prospect said that the Gamecock coaches are telling him to be ready to play significant snaps this season, and according to Barnes, who was also a standout wide receiver at RNE, he could potentially see time on both sides of the ball.
"They're saying that I have a real good possibility of playing a lot of time or possibly starting. Right now it's just up to me to come in and do what I have to do. As it looks right now, the defense is doing pretty good, so there's a chance I could be on the offensive side of the ball. They said when I come there, there's a possibility of playing both (wide receiver and safety)."
Barnes, who said he has kept in close contact with fellow 2007 signees Brian Maddox and Travian Robertson, has set a few goals for when he arrives at USC in the summer.
"My goal is to basically come in and get my workouts done. On my first day of workouts, I want (Strength Coach Mark Smith) to make me feel bad so I can learn from that and progress. I'm going to come back and do my best to learn each day. After that, I just want to show out, do my best on the field, and give the people what they want."
Caption: Mark Barnes patrols the defensive backfield for the Sandlappers in the 2006 Shrine Bowl.