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CU Buffs lose another transfer; add former Oklahoma safety

Linebacker Akil Jones latest Colorado player to enter name in portal

BOULDER, CO - Dec. 12, 2020: ...
Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
Colorado linebacker Akil Jones has entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal.

Colorado is remaining active in the NCAA transfer portal, with another player going out and one coming into the program.

Senior linebacker Akil Jones has elected to put his name in the portal and seek another opportunity. Meanwhile, Oklahoma safety Robert Barnes, a five-star recruit out of high school in 2017, is on his way to Boulder.

Jones was a fifth-year senior with the Buffs this season, but has one year of eligibility remaining after the NCAA granted all players an extra year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to truly thank CU for allowing me to call Colorado home,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “My career at CU has been memorable nonetheless. I have many people to thank for the guidance I have received at CU. I’d like to start with thanking academic mentors, tutors, and advisors for helping me accomplish the number one goal set out to be, which was to graduate.”

Jones also thanked teammates, coaches and trainers who have worked with him, as well as the CU fans.

Jones, from Valley Christian High School in San Jose, Calif., played in 34 games during his CU career including 11 starts over the past two seasons. He recorded 86 tackles and eight tackles for loss during his career.

This season, Jones played and started in five of the Buffs’ six games, finishing with 23 tackles, including five tackles for loss. Jones missed one game this year, Dec. 5 at Arizona, when he went to New Jersey for the birth of his son.

Jones would like to be closer to his son, but is open to all opportunities as he seeks to play his final year of college football.

Barnes comes to CU as a graduate transfer with two years of eligibility remaining.

Colorado transfer Robert Barnes

A 6-foot-2 safety who had transitioned to linebacker this season, Barnes played in 27 games with the Sooners, racking up 77 tackles and two interceptions.

Barnes started the Sooners’ last eight games of 2018 at safety and finished the season with 54 tackles. In 2019, he played in four games before redshirting. He then moved to linebacker this season. In 2020, he played in nine games, with one start. He also played safety in several games and finished with nine tackles. Most of his game time this season was on special teams.

Coming out of Southlake Carroll (Tex.) High School in 2017, Barnes had a five-star rating by, which ranked him the No. 3 safety in the country and a top-five recruit in Texas. He had 14 scholarship offers, including from Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas and Southern California.

Barnes is the second player to join CU as a transfer this offseason, along with former Tennessee quarterback JT Shrout.

CU has had six scholarship players enter the transfer portal since the regular season finale against Utah on Dec. 12, joining quarterback Tyler Lytle; running back Jaren Mangham; receiver KD Nixon; outside linebacker Jason Harris; and safety Derrion Rakestraw.

Harris has transferred to Arizona and Lytle to Massachusetts.


CU head coach Karl Dorrell was named the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) “First year” coach of the year on Monday, leading the FWAA freshman All-American team. Last month, Dorrell was named the Pac-12 coach of the year by the Associated Press and coaches.