Who is Tavaris Barnes?
A three-star prospect out of Jacksonville, Florida, Barnes was a part of the 2010 high school recruiting class, a class that saw players such as C.J. Mosley, Jonathan Hankins, Robert Woods, Dominique Easley, and Jordan Hicks move onto the next stage of their football careers. Current Washington Redskins T.J. Clemmings and Arie Kouandjio were also parts of this class.
Unlike the names listed above, Tavaris Barnes wasn’t a highly-rated recruit. He fell well outside the top 250 prospects, but nevertheless, he still garnered plenty of interest. His final choice involved schools such as Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He’d ultimately choose Clemson.
With the Clemson Tigers, it would take time for Barnes to work his way into an increased role, but he eventually did, peaking in 2014, when he logged 4.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks and a forced fumble in thirteen games played. At the conclusion of his college career, over an uneven four years, he accrued 46 total tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss, and 5.0 sacks.
Barnes’ production in a strong rotation wasn’t enough to get him selected in the 2015 NFL Draft. He would end up signing with the New Orleans Saints after the draft, and there, he managed to stick around for his first season as a beneficiary of an underwhelming defensive cast. He failed to muster any meaningful playing time, garnering just five total tackles in his first season.
After his rookie campaign, Barnes was waived by the Saints. He spent the 2016 offseason with the Seattle Seahawks, but was released after just four months with the team. He spent the 2016 campaign without a place to call home, and after another brief stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Clemson product found his way to Washington. The Washington Redskins signed Barnes to their practice squad in early November, and on the first of January, they gifted him with a futures contract for 2018.