Offensive lineman William Barnes (6-4, 312, Apopka, FL. High) has been on the Florida Gators campus several times but Saturday’s visit was different.
On Saturday, Barnes got to watch new Gators offensive line coach in person and he says that his visit was a success to Gainesville.
“It was definitely a great visit, I enjoyed it a lot,” Barnes said of his visit to Florida. “Getting to watch Coach Brad Davis coach and getting to talk to Coach Mac is always great. It was just a good visit.”
Barnes was impressed by Davis’ coaching style and the way Florida practiced during Saturday’s spring practice.
“Practice was fast pace, I liked the way they moved around out there,” he said. “I liked everything that I saw out there. I loved Coach Davis coaching style too, he reminded me of my old offense line coach. I feel comfortable with his coaching and I feel comfortable when I’m there.”
Davis got the chance to sit down with Barnes and explain to him how the Gators need him in Gainesville.
“He said that he isn’t going to force me to come here because I can go wherever I please,” Barnes said of Davis’ message. “He told me to make the right decision for me but that he wanted me there. He was saying that I would definitely have a chance to earn a starting spot. He says tackle or guard.”
Head coach Jim McElwain has developed a good relationship with Barnes including reminding the lineman about Florida on a daily basis.
“Talking to Coach Mac, he was saying that I was a great player,” he said of McElwain’s message to him. “He said that he enjoys talking to me and seeing me. He always sends me a text saying ‘good morning and that’s great to be a Gator,’ we text back and forth a little bit.”
Barnes admitted that Saturday’s visit to Florida helped the Gators chances and he explained why that is.
“Seeing Coach Davis definitely showed me a lot more about Florida,” Barnes said. “With Coach Davis being a little bit younger, talking to him from a player’s standpoint it feels good and that we’re cool with each other.”
The offensive lineman isn’t ready to name a leader but he did say that a few schools are sticking out to him.
“It’s really the same schools, Florida, North Carolina, Auburn, Ohio State and Florida State are the schools,” he said on if any school was sticking out to him. “I’m visiting Ohio State in April.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Barnes says he wants to wait until signing day and that’s something to continue to monitor as we head into the summer. Florida has definitely put itself in a good position with the offensive lineman.