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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2021 CB Ryan Barnes Breaks Down Notre Dame Commitment

June 6, 2020

It was a true team effort by Notre Dame in its pursuit of landing 2021 Maryland defensive back Ryan Barnes‍, who announced his commitment to the Irish on Saturday morning.

The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder had more than 30 scholarship offers, which he trimmed down to 15 a couple weeks ago.

“They just checked all of my boxes with the academics, athletics, the alumni base they have and the connections I have with the coaching staff,” Barnes told Irish Sports Daily. “Everything I was looking for, I found in Notre Dame.”

The relationships with the coaches on staff were deep and many as he pointed to bonds he’d formed with cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens, defensive passing game coordinator Terry Joseph, defensive coordinator Clark Lea, recruiting coordinator Brian Polian and head coach Brian Kelly.

“There were a lot of members of the coaching staff I had great communication with,” Barnes said. “Just the conversations, it wasn’t always football. It was checking in with each other, just normal conversations that we were able to have and they were also wanting to build relationships with my family and my parents. That’s kind of the reason why we love them so much.

“It showed they have high interest in me, which was definitely reciprocated. We always enjoyed talking with them.”

Barnes, who is considering majoring in Marine Biology, Criminology or Psychology, also liked the potential he saw for himself on the field in South Bend.

“The ability to feel out what position in the secondary I could play; safety, corner or nickel,” he said. “I know I have the ability to play whichever one of those helps the team. Just being able to play at an early stage of my career is something I’m really looking forward to.”

Barnes has family in Indiana and has visited South Bend in the past. Even with the current dead period, he was hoping to get on campus just to walk around last month, but wasn’t able to.

“We are hoping things open up and we’re able to get up there at some point soon,” he said.

He acknowledged going through the final stages of the recruiting process was difficult during the COVID-19 crisis, which has resulted in a ban of in-person recruiting.

“But I feel like I made the right decision for me and my family, so we’re really excited,” he said.

He’s also formed relationships with current 2021 Notre Dame commits Blake Fisher‍ and Philip Riley‍.

“It’s really exciting just being able to look forward to something specific and continuing to build relationships with these coaches and players. I can’t wait for it.”

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