SMU’s 23rd commitment comes from a player who can almost throw a rock and hit Gerald Ford Stadium from his home.
For interior lineman William Barns (Dallas/Highland Park), proximity was one of the perks of committing to the Mustangs. Barns, a 6-foot-3, 265-pound center/guard, gave SMU his verbal pledge on Sunday, choosing the Mustangs over offers from Iowa State and San Diego State.
“It feels amazing. I’m really relieved and happy that I know where I’m going next year,” Barns said. “I think it will be a great fit, and I couldn’t be happier.”
Recruited by SMU assistant head coach Dan Morrison, Barns said he more than likely will play center at SMU. He sees most of his time on Highland Park’s line at center, but he also has played guard.
Duke, Tulsa and TCU also showed Barns some interest, but he said the opportunity to play for a school with a budding football program and a phenomenal academic reputation was too good to pass up.
Not to mention, he’s got family already on the SMU campus.
“My sister goes there, so I spend a lot of time there already,” Barns said. “University Park is in my back yard, and I’ve always grown up an SMU fan. The academics there are outstanding. The entire big picture -- academics and athletics -- sold me.
Barns added that the offer came out of the blue, but he was happy to pick it up. Morrison offered him Sunday afternoon. It didn’t take long after that for Barns to accept.
“I came home and talked to my parents,” Barns said. “I thought about it for a few hours, but that was it.
“I think they’ll get a player who knows the game well. I take pride in having a lot of football sense. They’ll get a hard worker, someone who will do anything to benefit the team.”