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Oklahoma Freshmen: Getting a Jump on College Football — RB Jovantae Barnes

Playing time for freshman running backs is not unusual, and Barnes will have opportunities to jump into the lineup after he goes through winter workouts and competes this spring.
Jovantae Barnes

Jovantae Barnes

Editor’s Note: Oklahoma welcomes 17 freshmen (so far) in the 2022 recruiting class. This is Part 2 of a 10-part series introducing Oklahoma’s early enrollees in the 2022 recruiting class.

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RB Jovantae Barnes

  • 6-0, 190
  • Desert Pines HS, Las Vegas
  • 247 Sports: 4-star, No. 110 overall, No. 10 RB
  • Rivals: 4-star, No. 108 overall, No. 4 RB
  • Background: After losing Jase McClellan and Camar Wheaton to Alabama late in the recruiting process, Oklahoma finally beat the Crimson Tide for a running back. Barnes visited Oklahoma on Nov. 19, and less than two weeks later, Lincoln Riley was gone. But Barnes, who signed with the Sooners in December but officially committed to OU at the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 2, was patient throughout his recruitment and chose OU over offers from Alabama, Florida State, USC, Utah and others.
  • 2022 Projection: Barnes has the kind of physical tools that can translate to immediate playing time. He's fast and powerful, explosive, initiates contact, can be a tremendous one-cut runner and is a good target out of the backfield. He even stands out in pass protection. His game translates immediately to the major college level, and that's good for OU. Kennedy Brooks is off to the NFL, and while Eric Gray and Marcus Major will get the most snaps at RB, Barnes is electrifying and teams with June arrival Gavin Sawchuk to give the Sooners a dynamic duo in the backfield for possibly the next 3-4 years. Freshman running backs play all the time at this level. Barnes will get a real shot.
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Meet Oklahoma's 2022 Early Enrollees

  • Sunday, Jan. 23: WR Nicholas Anderson
  • Monday, Jan. 24: RB JOVANTAE BARNES
  • Tuesday, Jan. 25: QB Nick Evers
  • Wednesday, Jan. 26: WR Jayden Gibson
  • Thursday, Jan. 27: TE Kaden Helms
  • Friday, Jan. 28: LB Jaren Kanak
  • Saturday, Jan. 29: LB Kip Lewis
  • Sunday, Jan. 30: TE Jason Llewellyn
  • Monday, Jan. 31: LB Kobie McKinzie
  • Tuesday, Feb. 1: DB Robert Spears-Jennings