Jeannette’s Marcus Barnes commits to William & Mary

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Monday, December 3, 2018 | 8:39 PM


Marcus Barnes is glad he waited. So is William & Mary.

Barnes, a football standout at Jeannette, held true to his word by waiting until after the season to commit to a college, announcing Monday night he will attend William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

He chose the FCS school over a number of potential suitors.

A 6-foot-4, 185-pound wide receiver and defensive back, Barnes planned to commit to Howard. But a coaching shakeup there that saw coach Mike London and offensive coordinator Brennan Marion leave to join William & Mary affected those plans.

Marion, a Greensburg Salem graduate, initially offered Barnes at Howard. He showed loyalty by offering the Jayhawks senior the day after the coach’s introduction at William & Mary.

Barnes, obviously, was a top priority for the Tribe, and he recognized that when it came to decision time.

“I love the coaching staff and family-oriented environment,” Barnes said. “The energy and opportunity to play and make a young impact was always my dream, no matter where. It’s just a blessing to play D-I football.”

Barnes also considered Army, Navy, Morgan State and Holy Cross.

The timing of the coaching change, Barnes thought, worked in harmony with the time in which he wanted to announce.

“I felt like it was meant to be,” he said. “Waiting was the best option. During the season, coaches are busy, so committing early could affect other opportunities.”

He had 32 receptions for 555 yards and seven touchdowns this season and had five interceptions on defense.

William & Mary recruited Barnes as an “athlete,” meaning he could end up on offense or defense.

At Jeannette, he was a big-play receiver — Jayhawks coach Roy Hall said Barnes had the best hands of any wideout he had seen in the program — and a disruptive safety on defense.

“I plan to make an impact wherever I can on the field,” Barnes said. “I just want to play at the next level.”

Barnes’ father, Johnnie, also played college football in Virginia, at Hampton. Johnnie Barnes went on to play four years in the NFL as a wide receiver with the San Diego Chargers and Steelers.

William & Mary plays in the 12-team Colonial Athletic Association with Maine, James Madison, Delaware, Stony Brook, Towson, Elon, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Villanova, Richmond and Albany.

Early signing day for Division I and II football players is Dec. 19.

Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

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