Four-star RB Jovantae Barnes picks Oklahoma

BUENA VISTA LAKE, Florida – Jovantae Barnes received nearly 40 offers through his recruitment, but the four-star running back narrowed his picks to three in his Sunday decision at the Under Armor All-America Game.

Oklahoma, USC and Florida State made the final cut for the Las Vegas (Nev.) Desert Pines and the Sooners won for his effort.

Barnes’s long relationship with Sooners’ running back coach De Marco Murray it was a huge selling point in his decision.

Once Murray decided to stay in Norman and not follow the former coach Lincoln Riley at USC, Oklahoma would have been hard to beat.

“Being from Las Vegas and his top schools were actually USC and Oklahoma (in his recruiting),” Barnes said. “Being a West Coast guy you expect him to choose SC, so there had to be something down there in OU that made him choose This is what he showed me.”

The message to Barnes was simple: Oklahoma will still be a dominant program and with Murray remaining, this rang out loud and clear.

“He’s been hard on me since Lincoln left and made it known that he loves Lincoln, he’s all respect, they’re still brothers but at the end of the day they were great before him,” Barnes said. “I looked at it and I paid attention and I took it in mind too.”

The USC certainly made a serious impression on the four-star running back of Las Vegas Desert Pines, and Riley first visited Barnes once she got the job with the Trojans. It has always been one of its best schools.

The state of Florida also made the final cut, but after the assistant coach Kenny Dillingham left for Oregon, the Seminoles faded a bit in Barnes’s recruiting, though he said his visit to the state of Florida had been his best.

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