One Of Nation's Best Signs With MSU

Weaver High School (Hartford, CT) senior track athlete Daundre Barnaby (6-1.5, 165), one of the nation's top track athletes, has signed with Mississippi State.

Aren't you ranked second in the nation in the 400 meters?
"On a normal track I'm number 1, but overall (Tavaris) Tate (of Starkville High School) is number one."

When did you realize that you had that kind of talent?
"I started running track for the first time my junior year. I started training in November (2007). I used to play soccer. I was noticed as being real quick on the soccer field and the track coach came to me and asked me if I wanted to do track. I told him I would try it."

How did you do your junior season of track?
"My junior year, indoor and outdoor, I was injured. I strained my quad at Yale. When I went to (the indoor) Nationals I was warming up and I strained my left quad. I couldn't run for about 3 months. Then outdoor came and I ran and won at New England. I set the New England record by running 47.3 (in the 400 meters). Then I went to Nationals. I really didn't think I would make it that far since it was my first year. Then, when I started running with those guys, I thought that they looked like college athletes and I was a little bit intimidated. That kind of threw me off and I got blown out of the water. That's the reason I have trained so hard this year. So, when the outdoor Nationals come I will be prepared."

When did you officially visit Mississippi State?
"I visited them last week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week."

Did the official visit sell you on Mississippi State?
"Yeah, it was nice. Once I visited I loved it down there. I told myself, 'yeah, this is where it is.' "

What were some of the things that you liked about Mississippi State?
"I liked how the first thing the coach talked about was my education, education, education. Get a degree and track with education first. Their coach (his recruiting coach Steve Dudley) is great. And all the (MSU track) guys I met down there were easy to get along with.

"I used to live in Jamaica and I liked the weather down there. Then, when I saw the track and everything else at Mississippi State, I thought this is where I want to go."

What are your thoughts about Steve Dudley?
"Put it this way, with him everything is business. I think my freshman year - and I'm not trying to over do it - I will probably be All-American because of how he does things."

Obviously education is very important to you. What are you going to major in?
"I'm going to major in the field of mechanical engineering."

You mentioned Tavaris Tate earlier. Have you ever met him?
"Yeah, he and I are good friends. We (officially) visited Mississippi State the same day. He was in my hotel. We hit it off."

What other schools did you consider in addition to Mississippi State. And which ones did you officially visit?
"I visited UConn. LSU was also interested in me after I won the Nationals. They weren't interested in me when Mississippi State was. I kind of saw that as they really wanted me when I win, but Mississippi State wanted me when I wasn't even running that fast."


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.


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