A series exploring the commitments (and subsequent decommitments) of Michigan’s lost members of the class of 2009.
Barnes jumped into Michigan fans’ minds in June, when he became a Wolverines target and announced an impending commitment all within the span of a couple weeks. On June 24, he picked the Wolverines over Auburn and Alabama (having grown up in the state of Alabama, he had an affinity of sorts for the South).
Barnes was always one of those commitments who seemed only loosely-committed to the Wolverines, taking a visit to Purdue (his father’s alma mater) in September. Unlike most of the other commits, it didn’t seem like the Wolverines were willing to pull out all the stops to hold onto his pledge. Throughout the fall, he continued asserting that he would look at other schools, and never mentioned that Michigan’s coaching staff was trying to dissuade him from doing so. He officially decommitted from Michigan in December, and ended up signing with Ole Miss.
Along with DeWayne Peace, Barnes was likely seen as one of the guys Rich Rodriguez was referring to when he said “sometimes, a guy does you a favor when he decommits” at his Signing Day press conference. The staff, though they accepted a commitment from Barnes, didn’t seem fully intent on keeping him in the class when his eyes started wandering to other programs. The only real troubling thing about the Barnes decommitment is the lack of a replacement linebacker in the class. Barnes was the only true MLB that the Wolverines had any serious prospects of landing in the class of 2009. However, Obi Ezeh still has 2 more years in maize and blue, and JB fitzgerald has 3. Hopefully, the coaching staff can get help in upcoming recruiting classes.