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Former Loyola Blakefield cornerback Ryan ‘Bo’ Barnes makes name for himself at Quince Orchard

Quince Orchard cornerback Ryan "Bo" Barnes is a 3-star cornerback, per 247Sports. He previously played football for Loyola Blakefield prior to moving to Gaithersburg.
Quince Orchard cornerback Ryan "Bo" Barnes is a 3-star cornerback, per 247Sports. He previously played football for Loyola Blakefield prior to moving to Gaithersburg. (Hudl)

Ryan Barnes, or “Bo", as he is affectionately nicknamed, has traveled a great bit since his childhood. It’s also made him into the top-of-the-line cornerback that he is today at Quince Orchard.

Before ending up at Quince Orchard, Barnes was a promising defensive back at Loyola Blakefield. Even before that, he was born in Virginia Beach, moved to Florida — where he lived 13 years — before moving back to Virginia for the last year of middle school. Then, his family moved to Bel Air, Md., an hour drive to get to school every day. During that time, Barnes played played recreational football for Baltimore’s Hamilton Tigers and found his high school.

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“We found out about Loyola Blakefield through playing with the Hamilton Tigers," said Barnes. “Our team practiced at Loyola and that is how we got connected to the school. We learned that they had one of the top academic curriculums in the area and they were recruiting me which was a big factor on why we chose them.”

Former Loyola Blakefield cornerback Ryan "Bo" Barnes goes in to make a tackle in a game against St. Frances in 2017.
Former Loyola Blakefield cornerback Ryan "Bo" Barnes goes in to make a tackle in a game against St. Frances in 2017. (Dennis Barnes)

Barnes crafted his ability with Loyola, playing junior varsity for the majority of his freshman year and eventually moving up to varsity for the final few games of the season. However, his mother Kristin took up a new job and the young corner moved along with his family down to Gaithersburg. His father Dennis is an academic recruiter for the University of Florida and his job allows him to live anywhere within the country.

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Along with his brother Bryce, who also is a football star at Quince Orchard and about 15 months younger, Barnes continued to work on his craft at his new high school. The two constantly trained with each other, making them both improve to the point where they are now — Bryce receiving a scholarship offer himself.

“We have always played on the same team together growing up because he was good enough to play up on the older team.,” Barnes said of his younger brother. “So, we’ve been playing together since we were young. The plan was for him to go to Loyola with me, but that’s not how everything worked out. We are able to play together in high school at Quince Orchard”

He’s now built himself into one of the best corners in Maryland, sitting as the 40th-ranked at his position in the country, the 18th-ranked player in the state and a 3-star player, per 247Sports. In a prolific junior season at Quince Orchard, Barnes had two interceptions which were both returned for a touchdown, 44 tackles and seven pass deflections.

Barnes has received 32 scholarship offers from Football Bowl Subdivision teams, including an offer from Maryland and others from the likes of Arizona State, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas Tech, USC, Virginia and Virginia Tech — just to name a few. At 6′2, 175 lbs., some schools are looking at Barnes as both a cornerback and a safety due to his size. He models his game off of Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Under head coach John Kelley at Quince Orchard, Barnes and company went 12-1 and made a 4A state semifinals appearance. Barnes credits his coach with aiding him in his recruitment.

“Having Coach Kelley as my head coach has helped me tremendously in starting my recruitment process," said Barnes. “The way he coaches has set me and my other teammates up to showcase our talent. Additionally, he has many connections with coaches on the collegiate level which helps get us exposure.

"Everything came so fast. Starting with my first offer from the University of Tennessee, I began to receive opportunity after opportunity over a short period of time. This entire process is very enjoyable and each offer is a blessing. I am very thankful for them all.”

He still looks back fondly on the time that he had at Loyola Blakefield and the development that he had with the program. Barnes also credits his former institution with giving him the necessary discipline to transition to a public school like Quince Orchard, which is ranked as the 13th-best public high school in Maryland, per Niche. Loyola Blakefield was ranked as the top private high school in Maryland by readers of the Maryland Daily Record in 2018.

“Both schools have developed me into who I am today on and off the field." Barnes said. “They are great people and they have great facilities too. I think that being at Loyola my freshman year taught me a lot of discipline, especially being at a private school and having it in the classroom and on the field.

"I think that’s what really helped a lot in making the transition to Quince Orchard. From there, developing as a football player completely, I feel like both have been a big part of my journey to where I’m at right now.”

Like many other athletes in the world right now, Barnes’ training and preparation for his sport has been affected by the coronavirus. He also hasn’t been able to make many visits to the schools that are interested in him due to the shutdowns that are attributed to the pandemic. He still places in his trust in God throughout the trials that he’s undergone in this moment.

“God has a plan for why all of this happens, so I’m just trying to go with it,” Barnes stated. "It’s affected the training and stuff. I’m not able to get out with my strength coach and lift at school and things like that. I am able to get workouts in. I have a weight bench here [at home], I go out to a field and get out every day, if not every other day and get some work in with some of my teammates.

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“Things haven’t changed too much since everything has shut down except for the fact that I’m not able to go see schools in person. I’m still able to communicate with coaches and build relationships with them. They send me videos and pictures so I’m able to see the campus and the program without actually being there. I am also able to workout on a weight bench that we got a while back and I can get out to a field to work on some DB drills as well”

Though Barnes grew up in many different areas, he now sees the benefit of possibly staying in Maryland to play for the Terrapins. Terps head coach Mike Locksley has put together what is considered to be the 15th-ranked 2021 recruiting class in the nation and sixth in the Big Ten, per 247Sports. If he were to commit, he’d be joining Quince Orchard teammates defensive end Demeioun Robinson and defensive tackle Marcus Bradley to a resurgent Maryland football program.

“It would be a great opportunity to play for the Terps and the the coaching staff,” Barnes said. “They develop players for the next level which is something that I’m looking for in a school.”

Barnes also chats with Mount Saint Joseph wide receiver Donte’ Thornton about his recruitment — picking each other’s brains about getting to the next level and succeeding. The two played football together with Hamilton and their relationship spans past county and city lines, even though Barnes no longer plays at Loyola Blakefield.

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“Some of my teammates from the Hamilton Tigers play for Mount Saint Joseph," said Barnes. "One of them being Donte’ Thornton who is also a national recruit and we have had a lot of communication recently because we are both going through similar recruiting experiences.”

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