The recruitment of the nation's top defensive tackle prospect, Joseph Barksdale of Detroit Cass Tech, seemingly has more twist and turns than ‘The Days Of Our Lives." Well not quite that many.
"I know there's a lot of rumors and things going around on the Internet but I guess the big thing is that a lot of people are confirming things that haven't come out of my mouth," he said. "But I don't even know how to explain it."
So Barksdale did his best at explaining his situation as it is now. In his own words.
"Texas is the top team on the board right now," Barksdale said. "I did take a trip up to Michigan and a lot of things were clarified and they're also in the top five. But right now Texas is at the top."
So how did Texas get to the number-one spot all of a sudden?
"Research, in one word," Barksdale said. "I've just been going around looking up a lot of things on the Internet, doing a few inquiries, you know, looking up the facts. Texas is at the top of my top five."
So where does everything else fall into place?
"I'm going to keep on doing research," Barksdale said. "I'm going to keep on looking at things like different university's graduation rates, engineering programs and success rates in both the NFL and the real corporate America. So right now I'm trying to gather the rest of my top five and do a lot of checking, looking back and checking and evaluating to make sure that it's not just an emotional list but also a statistical list as well."
Barksdale went to Texas in June.
"I liked the family-type atmosphere. I felt like I had been there before you know," he said. "Everyone was just so warm and nice, not to say that the people at the other colleges weren't nice, I just got a different vibe from Texas. They also got a really good engineering program. They've got one of the better mixes between education and athletics."
And how about distance?
"It doesn't matter," he said. "Distance isn't a thing at all. Distance is not that big of an issue, it's not an issue at all."
So what his top five now?
"I'm still doing the research and stuff and I really can't give you one," he said. "I don't have one myself."
So in addition to Texas, what other teams is he still considering more than others?
"Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Miami and USC," Barksdale said. "Those are the ones that come right to mind. Tennessee and schools like that."
So when is the cut down date going to be?
"Mid-August," he said. "Just Mid-August. Not any certain time."
Of course Barksdale is close with Vernon Gholston of Ohio State and many have assumed that friendship would help lure Barksdale to Columbus.
"I haven't talked to him lately," Barksdale said. "I'm going to talk to him about it. I've been trying to call him but they've been practicing and things like that."
So is Ohio State, once recognized as the frontrunner in the Barksdale sweepstakes, now on the outside looking in?
"Ohio State is in a good position," Barksdale said. "Like I said my list isn't solidified which is why I haven't released it yet. Ohio State has a shot but it's up in the air right now."
So what is the latest with Michigan?
"When I went down there a lot of things were clarified and a lot of rumors were put to rest," Barksdale said. "Now that I know what they're thinking and we've had a chance to clear the air, I'm still looking at Michigan."
He said he probably won't even take all five visits.
"It's probably going to just be three," Barksdale said. "I know Texas is going to be one of those schools. I don't know what the other two are going to be yet."
Barksdale got an ‘A' in his English class that he took this summer and he definitely plans to enroll early. If he's selected to play in the Army All-American game, in San Antonio, Texas, Barksdale would like to announce the final lottery results at that time.