Madison (Miss.) Madison Central three-star wide receiver Keenan Barnes stepped into the spotlight at the Rivals Camp Series stop in Hattiesburg, and showed why Ole Miss and Mississippi State have jumped on board with scholarship offers and others are quickly joining.
Right now the 6-foot-3, 190-pound standout holds offers from Louisville, Memphis, and Louisiana Tech in addition to the Rebels and the Bulldogs and Alabama and Missouri have stepped up their interest as well.
He does not have any visits on his schedule at the moment but he has already attended junior days at Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Memphis. All three schools left an impression.
What stood out about Ole Miss?
"Just being an hour or two hours from the school you kind of know the ins and outs of it," Barnes said. "But just the way they communicate with their players, and the atmosphere, and the way they go about things up there is probably what stood out the most."
What about Memphis?
"It was a wonderful experience," he said. "You could tell they treat their players well and they're on the rise to be a dominant program in their conference."
And Mississippi State?
"It's kind of the same as Ole Miss," Barnes said. "They just made you feel at home. It's a place I could see myself going."
It is still early in the process, but Barnes does have Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Louisville at the top of his current list. He also has an order.
"Probably I would say Mississippi State, Louisville, and then Ole Miss," Barnes said.
What is it about the Bulldog program which gives them the edge right now?
"I caught their eye first and they were interested in me first and my first scholarship, and I feel like that's the school that's interested in me the most right now," Barnes said.
Even with a favorite and a few schools standing out, Barnes is not in a hurry to decide.
"No sir, the only plans I have is to try and win a state championship for my high school team, and to just keep researching and thinking on which schools I fit best with and make my decision around February of next year," Barnes said.
While Barnes does not plan to decide in the near future, he does know what he is looking for in a college home.
"It would probably have to be the stability of the program and I would say the tradition and if they are a contender or not," Barnes said. "And of course, academics, and a place where I can further my goals in life to get to the NFL."