MOBILE, Ala. – Batesville (Miss.) South Panola athlete Darius Barksdale helped his team to a state championship and the longest winning streak in the nation this season. In the process, he rushed for over 700 yards in his final two playoff games. His production speaks for itself but he'll have another chance to put it on display this week against the best from Alabama in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Clasic.
Barksdale is thankful for the opportunity and doesn't put his success on his shoulders alone.
"Everything's been going good," Barksdale said. "I want to thank God for me being selected for this game. I want to thank him for everything he's done for me. I feel pretty good cause I'm nominated to this game. I just want to prove my hometown and have a good game, that's all."
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Barksdale's production was helped in large part by a very strong and physical offensive line, led by Quin Sanford who is also playing in this week's All-Star event. However, Barksdale didn't forget to give thanks to the guys up front.
"If it weren't for my offensive line I wouldn't have been able to make the plays that I made," he said. "I just want to thank the offensive line for giving me the opportunities to do the things that I did."
Incredibly, Barksdale has made time around all of his yardage on the ground to play some defense as well, lining up at free safety on most occasions. He has the athleticism to play on the defensive side of the ball in college and many project him as a safety but he is beginning to prove that running back may be the place for him.
"Whatever feels good to a team, I'll play," he said. "I've got no preference. Coach Orgeron had told me that he wanted me to play running back. I'm ready to play running back in the SEC."
While Orgeron recruited Barksdale to Ole Miss, the senior hasn't wavered in his intent to play for the Rebels since Oregeron's firing.
"I had gotten a little startled caue I liked Coach O a lot," he said. "But I like Coach Nutt too. He's a good coach. I haven't talked to them yet or anything but I still feel pretty good about Ole Miss."