Championship caliber teams are made up of many small pieces. Sure, most need a star like Deshaun Watson to build around but without all of those pieces, a whole does not come together.
Clemson, for instance, has its fair share of big recruits (with more and more coming each year), but if you look back at last year’s championship team there were several keys players that were either not rated or highly touted prospects coming out of high school.
Jordan Leggett, Wayne Gallman, Ryan Carter, Jadar Johnson and Marcus Edmond all played big roles in capturing the college football title, and were not included in the ESPN 300 nor the top 300 players on 247 Sports (Carter and Edmond weren’t even nationally ranked).
Defensive tackle Desmond Barkley, a 2019 recruit, has the potential to be one of those pieces in a couple of years.
Barkley visited Clemson back on March 11th with a group of prospects that he trains with and had a great time.
“I really enjoyed it,” he said. “It was fun, hopefully I’ll be back.”
The new Allen Reeves Football Complex has given many recruits that “wow” factor and Barkley was no exception.
“The highlight for me was the beautiful facility,” he said. “When I first walked in I was shocked on how massive it is.”
Barkley said he also got to chat briefly with new D-line coach Toddy Bates while visiting.
“I talked to Coach Todd Bates the D-line coach that’s about it…nothing much, basically talking about Clemson and the facility and football things,” he said.
While the Stockbridge (Ga.) talent does not currently field any offer or had very much interest from schools, he is still only a sophomore.
“I actually don’t have any at this time… spring practice is when they will start showing interest because I’ll be going to the 11th grade,” said Barkley.
Barkley already has a massive frame to work with, and at 6-foot-2, 314 pounds, he should see some solid offers as he develops his craft. He believes he can bring a lot to the table as a player.
“I’m a hard-nosed physical D-lineman that can plug up the middle,” he said.
Barkley’s goals for his upcoming junior season are very straightforward, as he has his sights set on the championship.
“A state championship and hopefully we will do well this season.”