May 13, 2009

Detroit Defensive End Checks Out Chippewa Spring Game

Players who can rush off the edge are key to any college football defense, especially in the MAC, where the spread is king. One player who fits that bill is Dalton Barksdale, a defensive end from Detroit Cass Tech, who was in attendance at the Central Michigan Spring Game.

Barksdale, who is 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, was a key part of a Cass Tech team that went 8-3 this past fall. Chippewacountry had a chance to catch up with him and found out he was impressed with what he saw at CMU.

"I got to check out the weight room and meet the strength and conditioning coach and I was very impressed," Barksdale said. "I also like the academic plan they have for the athletes. I like how they stay on top of you to keep your grades up and make sure it academics first, football second."

When it comes to football, there are few better defensive ends in the Detroit PSL than Dalton. He gave some insight into what the stronger parts of his game are.

"I'm good at containing the edge," Barksdale said. "I am also getting faster and stronger. I make solid tackles and I get sacks."

However, Dalton does not have one particular player he designs his game after.

"I work with my brother a lot so I guess my game is designed somewhat around his," Barksdale said. "He is more of an aggressive player though and I use more finesse and technique."

Giving Dalton an edge is the fact that his older brother is Joseph Barksdale, a junior offensive tackle at LSU. Joseph has given Dalton insight into recruiting and advancing his game.

"I learn anything he chooses to share with me," Barksdale said. "He is home maybe two weeks out of the year and we work on football stuff all of the time. We work together on offensive and defensive drills. He plays offensive tackle and I play defensive end so it works out well and we help each other."

Currently, aside from CMU, Dalton is hearing from Notre Dame, U of M, MSU, Kansas State, Indiana, Eastern Michigan, and Western Michigan.

When it comes to choosing a college, Dalton made it very clear that getting a degree is the most important thing to him.

"A high graduation rate is important. I am looking to get a good education and I have to put that first," Barksdale said. "Football is a very close second. My parents have instilled in me that my education needs to be my Plan A and football needs to be my Plan B."

Stick with Chippewacountry as we continue to bring you all of the latest news on Central Michigan athletics.

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