Edison High cornerback McKenzie Barnes had narrowed his choice to three Pac-12 schools.
His educational goals tugged him one way, a friendship another.
In the end, the senior committed Saturday night to Arizona over Oregon and Washington State
Barnes had a chance to join Tigers teammate Steve Stephens in choosing the Ducks, but went with the Wildcats, he said, because “they have my major.”
“It was a very tough decision,” he said. “But I realized that even though Stephens is my best friend, I had to do what is best for me and make my best decision.”
Barnes, listed at 6 feet, 2 inches and 175 pounds, said he plans to major in engineering, either mechanical or electrical. He visited the Tucson campus July 29 and came away impressed.
“The football program is great,” he said. “I honestly believe that they are heavily slept on. Arizona is heading in a great direction and it’s going to be one of those situations where other schools and prospects are amazed because they weren't expecting to see such a major improvement in between the seasons.”