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Brandon Barnes

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 325 | College: Grand Valley State
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The most decorated offensive lineman in the school's history, Barnes garnered All-American honors from nine news services/publications in the last two years. He has manned the right tackle position since joining the varsity in 2004. Since that time, the Lakers compiled a 50-4 record and captured two NCAA DII National Championships and three Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference titles.

Though he has manned the right tackle position, Barnes' short-area trapping ability and squat frame will probably see him shift to guard at the next level. He has shown steady improvement throughout his career, which was capped when he was honored as the 2007 recipient of the Gene Upshaw Award, given to the best offensive lineman in the NCAA Division II ranks.

Coming out of John J. Pershing High School, Barnes earned All-Detroit Public School City League honors as an offensive tackle. He also served as team captain during his senior year. The school's program was little regarded and Barnes did not receive and scholarship offers from Division I schools, enrolling at Grand Valley State in 2003.

That year, he spent the season as a red-shirt playing on the scout team. He took over right tackle duties in 2004, going on to start 50 of 51 career games for the Lakers. He was credited with 58 knockdowns in 2004, earning All-GLIAC honors.

As a sophomore, the first-team All-GLIAC choice started 13 games. He totaled 66 knockdowns and nine touchdown-resulting blocks, as the offense averaged 431.7 yards per game. The 2006 season saw Barnes garner All-American recognition. Despite missing four games with a knee injury, he was named the GLIAC's Offensive Lineman of the Year.

In 2007, Barnes repeated as an All-American and All-GLIAC first-team selection. He came up with a career-high 86 knockdowns, guiding an explosive offense that averaged 472.0 yards per game. He also registered 13 touchdown-resulting blocks, capturing the Gene Upshaw Award as Division II's best offensive lineman.


Positives: Has a thick frame with wide hips, thick thighs and calves and a squat body structure that is more suited for guard that at tackle for the next level … Has excellent playing strength and toughness, playing with a mauler's mentality … Quiet, but respected leader who seems to have bought into getting himself into better shape, but still needs to have his weight constantly monitored … Understands assignments and his role in the offense … Tough, raw, but naturally strong athlete who, despite some extra padding around the midsection, plays with natural leverage and a strong anchor … Versatile blocker with experience at guard and tackle … Effective drive blocker who takes proper angles to sustain and wall off … Has the brute power and enough flexibility to make cut blocks upfield, but will labor if he has to go long distances … Gets good movement off the snap with his leg drive, showing the ability to set base, drop and deliver a solid hand jolt to create separation and gain control in pass protection … Very light on his feet for a player of his size, recently timed at 5.02 seconds in the 40-yard dash … Has enough lateral slide to be effective on the trap … Raw talent who is still learning the intricacies of playing on the offensive line, but is a good program player who takes well to hard coaching … Shows good arm extension and a powerful hand punch coming off the snap … Explodes on contact, keeping his feet wide to maintain balance in pass protection … Has the ability to wall off and pull for the ground game and could shift inside to guard due to his trap blocking skills … Has the quickness to get to the second level to cut off the linebackers in run support … Has made great strides in improving his pass set and lateral agility … Has natural strength and while he lacks fluid hip roll, he is still efficient at attempts to seal off the edge rush … Will flash aggression blocking in-line and delivers a hand punch into the defender's chest consistently.

Negatives: Has had problems keeping his weight in check in the past, as he plays better at the 300-305-pound range, but has gotten to 335 at times, resulting in looking lethargic moving off the snap and slow moving into the second level … Has good athletic ability, but he does show waist-bend and balance concerns … When he is overweight, he fails to stay low in his pads and looks stiff in his movements … Has good ability to run in a straight line, but marginal ability to adjust on the move or to redirect … Needs things to be kept simple, as he lacks great field instincts and can be fooled some by twists and games … Has only adequate football intelligence … Plays hard on the line, but doesn't finish blocks late in games, as he has some stamina issues … Gets lazy downfield and has questionable conditioning … Shows only adequate initial quickness and overall movement when he plays at a heavier weight … Demonstrates only marginal explosion on contact, as he does not always keep his hands active … Has only adequate ability to gain position on his opponent and to sustain to turn and anchor his area when he rises too tall in his stance … When he bends at his waist, he then leads with his head, and doesn't finish enough as a run-blocker … Has the quickness to get to his target, but struggles to adjust to moving defenders … Shows adequate ability in short-area pass protection, but struggles vs. speed and quickness … Struggles to adjust laterally and to pick up stunt exchanges, as he loses his balance at times when technique gets sloppy.

Compares To: JOSH BEEKMAN-Chicago … If Barnes can maintain his weight below 310 pounds, he could be an effective pulling guard in the NFL. He is too squat, stout and short-armed to play tackle at the next level. He is a good worker, but lacks great field vision and instincts. His conditioning is his own worst enemy, as he does like to pack on the pounds and this causes him to look heavy-footed and deal with stamina issues. He needs patient coaching to develop, but is a willing student who seems destined to spend a year or two on the developmental squad. Thinking he can step right in and play in the NFL is asking too much from this raw talent.

Career Notes

Barnes is the most decorated offensive lineman in the history of the program, having received All-American honors from nine news outlets/wire services during his career … Collected 157 knockdown blocks during his last two seasons, including 23 touchdown-resulting blocks … First offensive lineman in school history to earn first-team All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference honors four times … During his four years as the team's starting right tackle, the Lakers compiled a 50-4 record and captured two NCAA D-II National Championships and three GLIAC titles.

2007 Season

Recipient of the Gene Upshaw Award, given annually to the top lineman in NCAA Division II football … .All-American first-team choice by The NFL Draft Report, Associated Press and Daktronics for the second straight year … Was the top vote getter among offensive linemen on the 2007 Daktronics All-American Team … All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference first-team selection … Key contributor to an offense that ranked in the top 15 of scoring offense (38.2), total offense (472.0) and rushing offense (241.2) … Made 86 knock-downs with thirteen touchdown-resulting blocks … Allowed only one of the team's eleven sacks given up on 329 pass plays.

2006 Season

Associated Press, Football Gazette, The NFL Draft Report, D2Football.com, College Sports Report and Daktronics first-team All-American choice … Added Daktronics and Football Gazette first-team All-Northwest Region honors … All-GLIAC first-team selection and named the league's Offensive Lineman of the Year … Started ten games at right tackle, missing the Northwood, Ferris State, Saginaw Valley and Northern Michigan contests after suffering a right knee medial collateral ligament sprain vs. Indianapolis … Still managed to deliver 71 knockdowns with ten touchdown-resulting blocks as the offensive line allowed 23 sacks on 355 plays (in the games he missed, his replacements allowed four sacks from the right tackle position) … Helped the Laker offense average 391.9 yards and 35.5 points per game.

2005 Season

First-Team All-GLIAC selection … Started fourteen games at right offensive tackle, posting 66 knockdowns and nine touchdown-resulting blocks, as he allowed just 2.5 sacks on 313 pass plays … Key performer, helping the Lakers offense average 211.4 yards per game rushing and 220.3 yards per game passing.

2004 Season

All-GLIAC selection as a red-shirt freshman and named the team's Most Improved Player … Started all thirteen games at right tackle, registering 58 knockdowns as the offensive line yielded just 22 sacks in thirteen games … The offense averaged 381.7 yards per game behind the front wall protection it received.

2003 Season

Red-shirted as a freshman, competing on the scout team as an offensive tackle.

Injury Report

2006: Suffered a right knee medial collateral ligament sprain vs. Indianapolis (10/14), missing the Northwood (10/21), Ferris State (10/28), Saginaw Valley (11/04) and Northern Michigan (11/11) contests.

Agility Tests

Campus: 5.08 in the 40-yard dash … 1.75 10-yard dash … 2.92 20-yard dash … Bench pressed 225 pounds 36 times … 600-pound squat … 400-pound power clean … 32 3/8-inch arm length …

9 1/2-inch hands … Right-handed … 14/18 Wonderlic score.

Combine: Did not receive an invitation.

High School

Attended John J. Pershing (Detroit, Mich.) High School, playing football for head coach John Hurt … Earned All-Detroit Public School City League honors … Served as team captain during his senior year.


Computer Engineering major … Son of Emmett and Veronica Barnes … Born 2/28/85 … Resides in Detroit, Michigan.


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