Cutdown Day Fast Approaching for Barksdale

Four-star defensive tackle/offensive lineman Joseph Barksdale (6-5.5, 315, 4.9) from Cass Tech High School in Detroit tells's Allen Wallace that he won't determine his top five until mid-August.

Joseph Barksdale Profile

"It's not that I'm not ready to let out my top five, it's that I want the top five schools I let out to stay my top five. I don't like not being definitive, so my favorites have to be cemented when I let them out," Barksdale said.

"Season starts the third week of August, so I have to be sure which schools I've narrowed down by then. I need to be almost decided by mid season--around October, because I will be graduating early around the second week of January and I plan to announce at the Army All-American in San Antonio, Texas (sponsored by

"My high school defensive coordinator, Charleston Fobbs, and my head coach, Thomas Wilcher, are the people I look to for advice on my recruiting. But my timetable is my own decision.

"I have over ninety offers now. Recently, I've been to camps or unofficial visits at Texas, LSU, Illinois, Purdue, Tennessee, Ohio State and Michigan," he said.

"I have family in Texas. I went to the campus unofficially in the third week of June. The facilities were all centered around football. The players liked them, and they were up-to-date and state-of-the-art. The atmosphere at Texas was great too, because everyone was like a family. The football players aren't just treated as dumb jocks. I like the fact that they are treated like special people, and that academics are stressed for them too. They aren't just Saturday night guys.

"At Ohio State, they are doing a lot of construction on the facilities. I get along with the players and coaches really well, partly because I've been there so many times--about nine or ten. It's only three hours from where I live. I went to the Texas game and the Northwestern game last season. I went to Ohio State's camp about three weeks ago, and the rest of the times were just to visit. I've met all the coaches and about five or six of the players. A former teammate plays there, Vernon Gholston (defensive end)," Barksdale said.

"I'm doing a lot of research of all of the top 25 schools in the nation. I look at majors and graduation rates and other things that stand out about the schools. I want to be an electrical engineer because I've always been interested in nano-technology," he said. "I also research NFL defensive linemen to find out which colleges they went to. Kevin Vickerson, Roderick Wright and Sean Rogers are probably my favorite NFL stars."

Final junior season stats: 83 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, eight sacks, 10 fumble recoveries and two deflected passes. Barksdale bench presses 475, squats about 500 and has a 29" vertical jump.

Barksdale reports a 3.5 core GPA and a 22 ACT.

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