From Fayette to Hattiesburg, the Barnes Twins Stick Together on the Gridiron 


Kyron and Kamron Barnes stand next to each other during their first game at Southern Miss. | Photos: Charlie Luttrell

Kyron and Kamron Barnes are two players who play the same position and come from the same place. They also share the same face. 

Now both freshmen offensive linemen at Southern Miss, the Barnes twins came from humble beginnings in Fayette, Miss. They alternated between elementary schools in Fayette and Natchez throughout their young life until they settled at Adams County Christian School. It was here that they found their love for football. 

“For the longest [time], he and I were basketball players,” Kyron said. “Had you asked me in seventh grade [what I wanted to do], the NFL was nowhere near the top. I wanted to play basketball. We played football just to keep us in shape.” 

“Then, in 10th grade, we made the transition [to ACCS] … In 10th-grade basketball, we had to sit on the bench. Then, we got really big during the COVID year. I gained 50 pounds and became 290, and he was 270,” Kamron said. “When we realized how big we had gotten, we decided to take football seriously over the summer. We fell in love with it.” 

And like almost everything the Barnes twins do; it was a decision they mutually agreed on. 

“Everything we do is a group decision. We sat down in the locker room one day and said, ‘I really miss football.’ I was starting to like football better, and we just took off with it,” Kyron said. 

The transition from basketball to football proved to be a wise decision as the Barnes twins began gaining the attention of college football coaches from across the state.  

Each brother received two Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) offers, both from Louisiana and Southern Miss, but the Golden Eagles called first. The twins could have received more offers, but their commitment to each other trumped everything. 

“We weren’t going to settle. The good thing is that we were both offered. We were going with each other regardless,” Kyron said. “When we were signing in the office with Coach [Will}] Hall, he said he came across Kamron’s film first and another coach told him that there were two of us, so he offered us both when he first had the chance.” 

Being able to go to the same university to play the same position in football was a huge step not only on the gridiron but in life for the Barnes twins since they always like to be by each other’s side. 

They can be seen walking together to class or walking back from football practice, and they even finish each other’s sentences. They rely on each other so heavily that they cannot stand to be away from each other for extended periods. 

“Our whole lives, we’ve been next to each other. We rarely separate. I don’t like going places without him. He could go to Dollar General, and I would be like, ‘What would happen to him?’ The other day, we were at Wingstop getting food, and I was taking too long. He came in there looking for me,” Kyron said. “[Being together] is just natural to us at this point.” 

Having such a rapport with each other is a massive benefit since they play the most team-oriented position in football- the offensive line. If all five offensive linemen are not on the same page on a certain play, then the entire operation can be a failure. Having a deep, rooted connection leads to less time for thinking and more time for acting. 

College is a slightly different game, though, as there are more factors than just knowing what the other is thinking. 

“All we had to do in high school was blow people off the ball. I would tell Kamron, ‘Hey, I’ll take care of these guys, and you just go to the linebacker.’ Now we have to do this or that,” Kyron said. 

“It’s not really about blowing off the ball anymore,” Kamron said in agreement. “We have to take steps now, which is an adjustment for me because I’m used to just going off the ball and wrecking people.” 

The transition has worked out for Kyron as he was named the starting right tackle for the Golden Eagles ahead of their showdown with Northwestern State. He clearly impressed Hall as he beat out redshirt senior Paul Gainer Jr. The offensive line was a clear weakness for the Golden Eagles, so Barnes and company looked to right the ship. 

The Barnes twins continue to work every day by each other’s side. Although they are inseparable, they do require a little bit of space in the locker room. Kyron wears the number 64, and Kamron wears the number 66. Only starting left guard Gerquan Scott sits between them. 

“At a young age, our parents told us that we always have to stick together. I don’t think they meant for us to take it this literally, but it is what it is,” Kamron said. 

“We were raised together, brought up together and we did everything together. We never did [anything] without each other,” Kyron said. “At this point, it’s just hard to separate that. We have a bond that nobody else will have.”