Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln LB Deshaun Barnes signed with Tennessee in February, but failed to gain admittance. As a result, he was released from his National Letter of Intent.
But playing college ball in the SEC is still a possibility. He just might be getting a later start than normal.
Barnes, 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, will re-take the ACT in September, and should he raise his score enough, he'll enroll in college in January. But it won't be in Knoxville.
Article Continues Below
"I've got to take the test in September and then I'll be good," said Barnes. "I'm getting ready for that and then I hope I'm going to Auburn."
Barnes was actually hopeful he could enroll at Auburn in the fall, but after not getting cleared, he'll have to wait.
"I had an idea I wasn't going to be able to get in in the fall, but I wasn't really worried about. I was just worried about getting into college, period," said Barnes. "After I take the test, my plan after that is to go to college, play football, do work."
After not getting into Tennessee, Barnes was courted by several SEC and ACC schools including Auburn, Alabama and LSU. He had options, but decided he would rather join two of his former teammates, Craig Stevens and Mike Slade, on the Plains.
"I'm not taking any other calls from college coaches or anything like that. I'm staying with Auburn," said Barnes. "Auburn always wanted me to play football for them. They offered me a scholarship last year and all of that. But at the time, I didn't feel like it was the best place for me.
"Then everything went down and I talked to (AU recruiting) coach Steve Ensminger. He said they still wanted me, and I thought about it and Auburn would be a great place. It's close to home. I've got friends up there. I've been there a couple of times. I've seen the atmosphere and everything and I like it. I liked it the first time I saw it. It feels like everything is right."
Should Barnes make the necessary score and enroll at Auburn in January, the former three-star recruit said he'd likely start out at will linebacker.
As a senior, Barnes totaled 71 tackles, seven tackles-for-loss, four sacks and four fumble recoveries.