Four-star defensive tackle Joseph Barksdale (6-5.5, 315, 4.9), from Cass Technical High School in Detroit, says that there is a gridlock. He now favors Ohio State, LSU, Michigan State and Notre Dame. He's officially visited all of his favorites and won't be tripping any more.
"I really don't know what school I will be going to," Barksdale said. "I've said that I will announce my decision at the U.S. Army All-American game on January 6. Not because I know what school I'm going to, or waiting until the game to announce it, but because that’s the date that I have given myself to decide by.
"I'm really at a gridlock. It's a hard decision to make. I'm in the process of trying to narrow it down. My parents are involved in the decision-making process as well. They help me keep a perspective. We talk about team unity, tradition, the players' graduation rate, facilities and academics. Distance won't be a factor.
"I have Coach Jim Tressel from Ohio State coming over in just a few minutes," he said. "I love the Buckeyes values and the players' unity.
"Vernon Gholston (defensive lineman) went to my school and is a close friend of mine. I talk to him all the time. I feel I know Ohio State very well because of all the information Gholston and me have talked about. We talk about everything.
"I like the tradition at LSU," Barksdale said. "They have a great defensive line. I took an official visit on December 1. It was like nothing I expected...talk about determination and energy.
"Michigan State has a lot of potential. They are working hard as a team. I have a lot of respect for the coaches and players.
"All I can say about Notre Dame is…academics," he said. "Their academic programs are the best. Everyone knows that they have a great football team.
"I'm working on making a decision. Believe me, I wish I knew where I was going to go."
Final senior (7-4) stats: 73 tackles/27 tackles for loss/8 sacks/1 interception return for a TD/3 forced fumbles
Barksdale reports a 3.5 core GPA and a 22 ACT