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34 DAYS TO 2016 KICKOFF: Alex Barnes

In which BracketCat counts down the 34th day until the 2016 kickoff with a profile of running back Alex Barnes.

I still hold out hope that Alex Barnes could turn into Kansas State's very own version of Samaje Perine.
I still hold out hope that Alex Barnes could turn into Kansas State's very own version of Samaje Perine.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

#34 Alex Barnes
Redshirt Freshman
6-1 | 221
Pittsburg, Kan.


Position: Running Back

Previous College: None

Projection: Special Teams

Status: On Scholarship

Brandon Alex Barnes (b. Oct. 27, 1996) is a big, young running back who graduated high school early and participated in spring practices before redshirting the 2015 season. Although he did not play in the 2016 spring game for undisclosed reasons, Barnes should compete for playing time in 2016, even if only on special teams.

We seem to have an established top three at running back with Charles Jones, Justin Silmon and Dalvin Warmack, but Barnes is likely the most talented of the young corps of freshman backs behind them. Yet he's still an enigma.

Barnes played under head coach Tom Nickelson at Pittsburg High School, where he led the Purple Dragons to a 9-2 record and the quarterfinals of the state championship during a stellar senior season.

He totaled 4,835 rushing yards and 83 touchdowns during his career, including 2,361 yards and 38 touchdowns in 2014, breaking the Southeast Kansas League (SEK) single-season and career records for rushing yards and TDs.

A two-time SEK Offensive Player of the Year honoree, Barnes also earned All-State honors as a junior, while he was a four-time first-team all-league and all-county performer. He also was involved in Special Olympics and mentoring.

Barnes was named one of the top 11 players in the state, and to the All-Class 5A teams by The Topeka Capital-Journal and The Wichita Eagle. He was one of the top 12 players in the state by the Kansas Football Coaches Association and named to the organization’s all-state Class 5A team. He also had offers from KU and Minnesota.