Barbour playing for ASU instead of Wake
Former Monroe High receiver Jaylan Barbour has been released from his Letter of Intent with Wake Forest University and is now enrolled at Appalachian State.
Barbour (5-10, 165 pounds) was a three-year starter at Monroe and a three-star recruit, according to Rivals.com.
"I just felt like Appalachian State was the right place for me," Barbour said Wednesday afternoon shortly after getting out of class. "God made the decision for me and God doesn't make mistakes. I love the campus and I'm surrounded by great people. It's a great environment up here."
Barbour splashed on the scene as a sophomore at Monroe, catching 44 passes for 861 yards and 10 touchdowns.
He was heavily recruited after that, and reported scholarship offers from South Carolina, North Carolina, Duke, N.C. State, West Virginia, Charlotte and East Carolina.
Last August, after visiting Wake's campus unofficially, Barbour committed to the Demon Deacons; he signed his LOI in February.
Barbour said he received his release from Wake Forest on Monday.
Barbour will take a physical this week, then begin offseason conditioning with the Mountaineers on Monday.
After meeting with ASU receivers coach Justin Stepp on Wednesday, Barbour said "it looks like I will be playing right away."
Barbour, who finished his career with 130 receptions for 2,198 yards and 20 touchdowns, is a cousin of Duke all-American receiver Jamison Crowder.
"I look up to him," Barbour said. "He gives me advice and I take it. He's my mentor, and a great mentor to have."
Barbour helped Monroe go 13-3 and reach the 2AA state championship game as a senior. In a playoff win over East Lincoln, he caught five passes for 132 yards, and he returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown in the semifinal win over Parkwood.
Barbour was selected first-team all-Union County by The Enquirer-Journal as a senior after finishing with 46 receptions for 858 yards and seven touchdowns.
He's one of six Redhawks in the 2014 class who signed to play football. "We had a lot of talent in my senior class," Barbour said.
Monroe didn't have enough young linemen to field a junior varsity team in 2010. Barbour was among the freshmen who played varsity that season and he saw sporadic playing time behind his superstar cousin Crowder, appearing in six games without a reception.
During Barbour's four years, the Redhawks had 14 players sign football scholarships.
"It's a great program," Barbour said. "Coach (Johnny) Sowell does a great job of running it."
Barbour is following in the footsteps of Sowell, who has been his head coach in football, basketball and track. Sowell played receiver and running back on scholarship at ASU in the 1980s.
Appalachian State has been a Division I-AA power for the better part of three decades, and won three straight national championships from 2005-07.
The Mountaineers are entering their first year as a Division I-A school and have moved from the Southern Conference to the Sun Belt.
In September of 2007, Appalachian State pulled off what many historians still consider to be the biggest upset in college football history with a 34-32 win at Michigan. The Wolverines were No. 5 in the preseason AP Top 25, and it was the first time a I-AA team had ever defeated a top-five I-A school.
The rematch is Aug. 30, when the Mountaineers travel back to Ann Arbor for the first time since the upset that led to a Sports Illustrated cover.
"I'm very excited about going up there and playing Michigan," Barbour said. "Hopefully we can bring home another upset."