Our Mission:

Prime U exists to help individuals become the best versions of themselves through talent development solutions, individual coaching, and team culture development.


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Prime U's Founder: Jarrod Barnes

Jarrod Barnes founded Prime U in 2017 out of the desire to help bridge the gap between education being delivered in the classroom and application within real-world scenarios.

As a former student-athlete, collegiate coach, and administrator, Jarrod has seen and experienced the needs of students and young professionals within the collegiate landscape and workplace. While working on his Ph.D. at Ohio State, Jarrod focused his research on how to develop the talent and potential of millennials and generation Z. Research, experience, and consistent presence alongside young people are what gives Prime U the expertise and knowledge to execute values-based leadership training, holistic student development, and provide innovative learning solutions.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Barnes has been recognized by Who’s Who Magazine, NPR Radio, ESPN, Fox Sports, and The Big Ten Network. 

Jarrod resides in Charlotte, North Carolina and is a contributing writer to Front Office Sports and a current Khayrallah Innovation Fellow at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

Jarrod Barnes presenting at the 2018 Black student-Athlete Summit at the University of Texas.

Our Staff

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Jamie Wood


Columbus, OH



Role at Prime U: Talent Developer

Jamie Wood serves as a Talent Developer and workshop facilitator for Prime U's student-athlete and young professional training programs. A former student-athlete at Ohio State University, Jamie understands the student-athlete experience, post-sport transition, and leading high performing teams.

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Jake Abbott


Phoenix, AZ



Role at Prime U: Talent Developer & Chief Operating Officer

Jake Abbott oversees all of Prime U's internal operations and serves in an advisory capacity
around business strategy and partnerships. A former student-athlete at Northern Arizona University, Jake also acts a workshop facilitator and leadership content creator for Prime U's student-athlete and young professional training programs.


Scott Woods


Charlotte, NC



Role at Prime U: Leadership Strategist & Chief Financial Officer

With over 25 years of strategic and financial experience, Scott acts as in an advisory capacity at Prime U focused on strategy and ensuring proper alignment of people, process and products.

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Sean McNamara


New York, New York



Role at Prime U: Business Development & Client Relations Specialist

Sean McNamara is currently a Premium Sales Associate with the New York Jets and has joined the Prime U team to enhance our business development and client relations. A former staff member of the Ohio State Football program, Sean understands elite performance.

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Keith Gabriel


Charlotte, NC



Role at Prime U: Talent Developer

A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Keith Gabriel is a former student-athlete at the Virginia Military Institute and went on to spend 3 years playing professional basketball overseas (in Sweden, Germany, Turkey, Greece, Israel, and Kosovo). Keith joins Prime U as a Talent Developer and currently works as an Economic Development Specialist at Duke Energy.



“Jarrod is on the cutting edge in terms of concerns about the student-athlete…His maturity, his attention to detail, his big-picture thinking, and his genuine care about the student-athlete…I just hope we hire him at some point at this university, I love him. I think he is a great role model for a lot of our players. And not just our players, for all of college football. When he speaks, people listen”
— Urban Meyer, Head Coach, Ohio State Football
“I cannot thank Jarrod enough for helping me take my leadership to the next level. He was prepared every step of the way to challenge and help me understand my leadership qualities. His consultation not only got me ready to host our first ever Game Changing Retreat but laid the foundation to continue making a positive impact on the lives of future leaders.”
— Corinne Milien, Executive Director of The Winning Edge Leadership Academy, Former ESPN Producer
Jarrod is an amazing speaker and very thorough in his approaches to address the needs of the student-athlete. He understands who they are and what type of approaches we need to take to help them become successful.
— James Taylor, Academic Advisor, Hampton University