Commitments are now rolling in, it seems. Another JUCO defender will be signing with Virginia Tech this Wednesday, as outside linebacker/potential defensive end Amare Barno committed to the Hokies today. Barno was a recent offer from Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, but he is originally from Blythewood, South Carolina. Deciding between an offer from Nebraska and the Hokies, other offers included Florida Atlantic, Old Dominion, and Marshall. Much like the prior JUCO addition of Dashawn Crawford, Barno will hopefully provide some experienced depth to either the linebacking corps or the defensive end corps if he can put on enough weight by fall. Due to the nebulousness of JUCO rankings, he’s not rated by ESPN or Rivals, but he is rated as an 85 three star by 247 (93rd nationally, 5th OLB, 19th in SC). Primarily recruited by Adam Lechtenberg with assist from Coach Foster, Barno is the prototypical Virginia Tech tweener.
Let’s take a look at the tape and see where he might line up in the spring and fall.
Amare Barno (Blythewood, SC via El Dorado, Kansas. 6’-6”, 220lbs. Outside Linebacker/Defensive End)
Barno is the pretty typical big, rangy, athletic kid that plays hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end- though he is more a hands-up guy by far. Granted, because he does have experience in some coverage, defensive end is somewhat enticing, as Coach Foster IS known to drop defensive ends back to cover passes. I think he needs to add another 10-20lbs of muscle to his frame- he’s a bit thin and somewhat top heavy, frequently leaving his feet/anchor points on tackles. And while he makes them, it’s not good to leave your feet or stance during the process of a tackle when you can get flung off by a strong or determined enough runner. I think his vision is an asset, sure- he shows some good reaction time. But there are still some rough edges that need refinement.
Welcome to the Hokies, Amare.