Deion Barnes' athleticism was on full display from the opening snap in 2012 and opposing offensive linemen and running backs struggled to contain the redshirt freshman during what transformed into a superlative season. The Philadelphia product recorded his first two career sacks in the second game of the season and from there he continued to elevate his play and emerge as one of the Big Ten's top defensive playmakers. A defensive end, Barnes would go on to be selected the 2012 Thompson-Randle El Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Year and was honored for his efforts during an on-field ceremony at the Big Ten Championship Game. He became the second Nittany Lion to earn the conference's Freshman-of-the-Year accolade. Barnes also was a consensus first-team Freshman All-American, joining tight end Kyle Carter, and was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team by ESPN.com and BTN.com. A potential All-America candidate this fall, Barnes also was an honorable-mention All-Big Ten choice by the coaches and media. Blessed with tremendous physical attributes and a relentless attitude and motor, Barnes has taken last year's success in stride and remains humble and driven to improve. He brought his tenacity and passion into winter conditioning and spring drills in his desire to continue to improve his productivity and consistency during his sophomore season. Barnes' commitment in the strength and conditioning program has seen him maintain his approximate playing weight from last year, while improving his speed and strength. The highly-skilled and swift athlete ranked in the top 10 in the Big Ten last year with 6.0 sacks and three forced fumbles and his 10 tackles for loss were 14th in the conference. The former Northeast High School standout will be the veteran among the defensive ends this season after the unit saw Pete Massaro and Sean Stanley graduate. Barnes will be counted on for leadership for the unit and has a very promising future.
2012 (Sophomore Season)
In his first season on the field, Barnes appeared in all 12 games, with eight starts. He was selected the 2012 Thompson-Randle El Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Year, becoming the second Nittany Lion to receive the conference's freshman honor. Barnes was a consensus first-team Freshman All-American, earning the honor from CBSsports.com, Sporting News, CollegeFootballNews.com, Fox Sports/Scout.com and Phil Steele's College Football. He also was selected honorable-mention All-Big Ten by the coaches and media and was named to the ESPN.com and BTN.com Big Ten All-Freshman teams. Barnes tied for No. 3 in the conference with three forced fumbles, tied for No. 5 in the Big Ten in sacks (6.0) and was No. 14 with 10.0 tackles for loss, leading the team in sacks and TFL. He made 26 tackles (14 solo) and had one pass breakup. Barnes played a vital role for a defense that ranked second in the Big Ten and No. 16 nationally in scoring defense at 19.1 ppg, holding six teams to 17 or fewer points. Barnes recorded his first two career sacks at Virginia and made five tackles in the 34-7 win over Navy, including his third sack in two games. He shared Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week honors after the 34-7 win over the Midshipmen in Bill O'Brien's first career head coaching victory. He made two solo stops in the win over Temple, had 0.5 sacks and two stops in the 35-7 victory at Illinois and combined on a sack and had a pass breakup in the 39-28 win over No. 24 Northwestern. Barnes made three hits in a 38-14 win at Iowa and had one TFL and forced his team-leading third fumble of the season to set up a first-quarter touchdown in the 34-9 victory at Purdue. Barnes recorded a season-high six tackles (four solo) and 3.0 TFL for minus-13 yards, including a sack, at No. 18 Nebraska. He had three hits in the win over Indiana, including an 11-yard sack, and registered three stops in the pulsating Senior Day overtime win over Wisconsin.
2011 (Freshman Season)
Barnes was named second-team all-state, first-team All-Public League and Philadelphia Public School Player-of-the-Year at Northeast High School for Coach Chris Riley. Barnes helped Northeast win its first Philadelphia Public League championship since 1983. During his senior season, he recorded 85 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. Barnes also had three receiving touchdowns and blocked three punts. Rivals.com listed Barnes as the nation's No. 6 prep defensive end in 2010.
Full name is Deion Deryl Barnes. He is studying recreation, parks and tourism management. Born January 20, 1993 in Philadelphia, Pa.