Barnes was a junior this season and will have two years of eligibility remaining. He was thrust into the spotlight this season as quarterback Cameron Rising dealt with an injury that kept him off the field.
Barnes is a 6-foot-1, 209-pound quarterback from Milford, Utah, and according to his Utah player page, he grew up raising roughly 12,000 pigs in a barn.
"They got themselves a Heisman Trophy winner. We got a pig farmer," Whittingham said.
Barnes was a walk-on in 2020 and played in three games during the 2021 season. He made one start in 2022 against Washington State, throwing for 175 yards. With Rising out this season, Barnes and Johnson took the majority of the snaps, with Barnes starting in nine games. Barnes led the team in passing with 1,517 yards and threw 12 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He also ran for 267 yards and three touchdowns and went 6-3 as the starter this season for Utah.
Rising announced that he plans to return to Utah next season, giving the team its starting quarterback as long as he stays healthy. Barnes and Johnson are now both transferring out and looking for new programs next season.
Utah will play Northwestern in the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 23.