With the pending graduation of Conner Vernon and Desmond Scott, the Blue Devils will be forced to rely on a young group of wide receivers in 2013. One of the most promising young Blue Devil prospects is 2013 verbal commitment Johnell Barnes. Barnes blew up on the recruiting trail earlier this year with impressive performances on the camp and combine circuit. The 6'1" 165 receiver committed to Duke back in June over offers from Connecticut, FIU, Hawaii, Iowa State, Northwestern, South Florida, Wake Forest, West Virginia, and several others. Barnes and his family were on campus this past weekend for his official visit and caught up with BDN afterwards.
How did your official visit go overall?
Well, the visit went very well for my parents and I. I had a great time. It was fun. A lot of food. My parents had a wonderful time. It couldn't get any better, you know. I felt like I was home.
That's great! There's obviously a lot of excitement around Duke football with their bowl game coming up. What did you talk about with the Duke players and your fellow commits?
I was pretty much talking to other prospects about what position they play. We were joking around. Some of them were cornerbacks, so we were joking around telling each other we're going to compete against each other and stuff like that. As far as Duke going to a bowl, we're very happy about that. I know that the program is thriving.
Duke has had a lot of success in the passing game, led by guys like Conner Vernon and Jamison Crowder. Can you talk a little about how the Duke coaches expect you to fit in the offense?
Duke is pretty much expecting me to come in and fill in the Conner Vernon place. Duke has thrown the ball very much. That's what I want. I want the ball in my hands. I like that about Duke. They throw the ball a lot. And the receivers are out there to catch it. I look forward to playing with Crowder and the other receivers.
I know that you and T.J. Douglas are close. Can you talk a little about your relationship with him?
We were with each other pretty much the whole weekend. We grew up playing flag football when we were like five. We became best friends in elementary school, separated a little in middle school and high school, but football keeps us connected. That's how we just started back talking again. I played him in a game, and we keep in touch on Facebook, and other social networks.
That's really cool that you'll be playing the same position together in college.
Now that you've had some time to look back, how do you think your season went overall?
I think we could have topped off our season a little better than we did. I'm sure. That's how it goes. You win some, you lose some. Unfortunately, we lost, but I think I had a great season overall. I had many catches. I had many yards. I'll have to check on those stats. I haven't looked at my stats in a while.
Congratulations, you've had a great career and a great senior year.
Thank you. Absolutely, I had a great season.
You've just finished up your official visit and you have Signing Day coming up in a couple months. What else are your plans for the rest of your senior year?
Right now I'm in basketball, playing basketball right now. I will be, most likely, doing track, running track and pretty much just staying on my academics.
I'm sure that will keep you busy! Good luck with the rest of your senior year and thanks for taking a few minutes to speak with me. Duke fans will be excited to see you in Wallace Wade Stadium next fall!
Yes sir, thank you.