"I talked to coach Barry and let him know I wanted to go to NC State," Barbee said. "He was really excited.
"I had been thinking about it, and I just realized it was where I wanted to be. I'm excited about it."
Barbee has spent his entire career at center, somethig that is rarely seen on the prep level for high-major college prospects. Most college coaches choose to put their best offensive linemen at guard or tackle, but Crest has used Barbee exclusively at center. An accomplished longsnapper, he believes that the consistency of playing the position played a role in why NC State coveted him so much.
"They like the fact that I've always played center, and I know how to handle the position," Barbee said. "I know what to do there, and it's not like I'm being converted from another position. They've told me I have a chance to come in next year and compete. That's all you can ask for."
Wolfpack assistant Mike Barry also played a major role in his decision. Barry's considered one of the top offensive line coaches in college football, and Barbee clicked with the NC State assistant.
"I just really liked Coach Barry," he said. "He's a really good coach, and he knows what he's doing. He's coached some good offensive linemen, and I liked that too."
Despite entering the season with high expectations, NC State's struggled with offensive consistency, penalties, and turnovers. At 4-5 and elminated from bowl consideration, it's been a rough year, but Barbee feels they can bounce back.
"They've done pretty good," Barbee said. "I think injuries is a factor at times, but they've done pretty good given the circumstances.
"They still have plenty of talent, and it's still a great program that I can't wait to join."
Barbee, who checks in at 6'4 and 300 pounds, has been timed at 5.2 in the forty yard dash and also bench presses 350 pounds.
With a 4.3 GPA and a qualifying SAT score, Barbee is fully qualified to play as a freshman. He plans on taking an official visit to NC State in late December or early January and says that's the only visit he will take.
"I'm very firm," Barbee said. "There's no where else I want to be."