Jarrod Barnes Is Hungry to Invest – in People
“One of my biggest fears is complacency,” says Jarrod Barnes with a shake of his head. It’s funny though because he says it as if complacency is actually something that could happen to him. When you hear his story, his philosophy, and all he’s driven to accomplish, you realize quickly – this guy will never know complacency. And that’s really good for the rest of the world.
As Founder and Lead Talent Developer of PrimeU, Barnes is building a unique approach to a training and development company. It’s an org built with a full and open heart for athletes, young people and non-profits.
“The whole framework of this company is for people to become the best version of themselves,” Barnes notes. He wants people to live in their personal and respective prime states. Getting there is a journey and a process; one he knows himself.
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Barnes grew up playing football. He played safety for the University of Louisville for three years, earning his Bachelor’s degree during that time. Having red-shirted his freshman year, Barnes had two years of eligibility left; he went on to play for The Ohio State University. The same year he played his last game against Clemson, he graduated from OSU with a Master’s degree in Sports Management. From there, he went on to pursue the NFL; he took part in a minicamp with the Detroit Lions – and was cut. A football player for most of his years, he knew it would be a tough transition for him.
His next move is what you’ll come to appreciate as truly Jarrod Barnes. He saw the tough transition as an opportunity.
He took a Defensive Backs intern coaching role for OSU’s football team, working closely with the Defensive Coordinator and Cornerbacks Coach. It was a new experience to practice football in an entirely different way.
“I was really starting to see more about how people work, and where the gaps are,” Barnes says. “And ask myself the question of ‘how do I teach a young man to perform at a high level?’”
He went on to coach at Clemson in a different capacity – professional development. As Assistant Director of Student-Athlete Development, Barnes took on a role as a career advisor. He started testing ideas and content for workshops which pulled some of the best coaching from his years in football and also his work in academia, athletics, leadership, and people development.