The Path to Norman
OUDNA was in Robert Barnes his whole life. As the son of former Sooner Reggie Barnes, Robert grew up with OU all around. Part of the 2017 class, Robert committed to the Sooners about a year and a half before his signing day.
Barnes came into OU a very highly-ranked safety with offers from all over the country. The Barnes family were some of the more vocal supporters of SS17, informing recruits and families alike of the excellence of the OU football program.
Career so Far
TFB heard nothing but great things about the hard work, talent, and athleticism of Barnes the summer before his freshman season. Continuous word of him pushing for a big, and potentially starting, role was the norm. He didn’t end up with a starting role, but played often and well during the first half of the season, despite some minor injuries. The second half of the season, Barnes was one of several freshman defenders to come on very strong. He earned his first start against TCU and played very well.
In 2018, Barnes started in a majority of the OU games and played in almost all, with his playing time being limited mostly by injury. He was one of the leaders of the defense and a very good safety for the Sooner when healthy.
Robert Barnes has been recovering from a hamstring injury this offseason; he had to sit out of spring ball. This summer, new DC Alex Grinch was able to see Barnes in workouts and was impressed by what he saw. Then, he had to sit out again with another lower leg injury for part of July. However, he has been back competing for his starting free safety spot in recent weeks without any injury limitations. The battles is still fierce and several options are being looked at for the safety spot. Although he has suffered the injury bug throughout his career, Barnes is one of the veteran leaders of this secondary and really the entire defense. If he can stay healthy, this could be a big season for the safety.