Florida’s summer camp circuit began Friday night with a 7v7 tournament and an offensive/defensive linemen camp, and with more than 200 participants, UF’s coaching staff had an opportunity to evaluate multiple prospects with potential at the next level.
William Barnes, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive lineman in the 2018 class out of Apopka High, arrived in Gainesville for camp and left with a scholarship offer.
It’s the latest acknowledgement of Barnes’ rise since he was named the MVP at the 2016 Orlando Rivals Camp Series in February, and just the fifth offer for the surging prospect.
After picking up offers in April from the University of North Carolina and the University of Miami, Barnes said he heard from UF offensive line coordinator Mike Summers about coming to Gainesville for camp.
“I’d been in contact with Coach Summers about the camp,” Barnes said. “He had interest in me before I got up there, and I got to talk to him face-to-face which was good when I got up there.”
Barnes said UF wants him to get back to campus “soon as possible”, and he plans on returning to Gainesville fairly soon. He plans on being back on campus June 11th to watch Apopka running back Jordan Thompson compete at UF’s 7v7 camp.
— William Barnes⚡️ (@barneswilliam7) June 4, 2016
And Barnes is already familiar with one of Florida’s offensive linemen. He said UF sophomore Martez Ivey, who played at Apopka High as a senior during Barnes’ freshman season, is a good friend. Both played under offensive line coordinator James Delgado at Apopka, and Barnes said his coaching has helped maximize his potential.
“He stays on me, if you do one thing wrong, he stays on you,” Barnes said of Delgado. “He wants you to be your best, he wants you to get your technique perfect. He does everything perfect.”
With the benefits summer camps present a rising player like Barnes, he plans on attending multiple camps across the country as he heads into his junior season.
While some players opt to commit early in their recruitment, Barnes said he hasn’t thought of it. He’s just enjoying UF’s offer, knowing it’s evidence of his commitment to his craft.
“I’m just letting the process play out,” Barnes said. “I’m just enjoying it right now.”