"I got moved to right tackle during spring training," Jarien Barksdale said. "The transition has been easy. If feels more natural to me playing offensive line than defensive line."
What has made the transition so easy?
"I bring a more stable running game to the table for us. I feel like once I get my hands on you then it's over. I just try to drive my man down the field and give our backs some room to get free. I just love playing on offense. Like I said it feels more natural to me than playing defense."
South Panola has made it to the State Championship game nine out of the last ten seasons. Does that put more pressure on the squad to produce?
"It is hard. The coaches expect a lot out of us and we expect a lot of ourselves. It's like the MUS game. We lost that one in embarrassing style. We did not even want to get back on the bus and go back home and show our faces around the community. We could have folded but we are very mentally strong. You can run away from the pressure or face it and that's what we do. We played our best game of the year last week against Olive Branch."
What are the expectations of the team.
"I expect us to not lose another game and win another ring as always."
Which colleges are showing interest?
"I am hearing from LSU. They wanted me to come to their camp but I could not make it. I missed out on a great opportunity for them to see me up close."
What stands out about LSU?
"They have a good team. Their coaches are friendly. I like their defense, but now that I am playing offense I am trying to see how their offense works."
Anybody else in the picture?
"Ole Miss. They are telling me to keep working because they want to see me up there with them. They are always at our games, and it is like another home to us just like South Panola."
There is another school that has also drawn the interest of the 6' 4", 290-pound offensive lineman.
"I want to see Arkansas State to start recruiting me harder. They are close to my brother, and I actually like Arkansas a lot so I want to go there."
Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for Scout.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org