Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Bud Barksdale part of Dynamic Duo
By Danielle Bean
People see Rickyus “Bud” and his dandy dozen cousin Darius “Tigg” Barksdale as the dynamic duo of the Tiger team for the past three years.
“We grew up together and saw each other all the time,” Bud said. “Some people think we are brothers but we just tell them we are close cousins. But sometimes we do try to deny each other just for the fun of it.”
When they grew up, they took their act on the road with them to the Tiger team. Bud recalled that his sister, Marquita Barksdale, and his uncle, Raymond Barksdale, really inspired him to do his best on and off the field.
“Sometimes it gets hard to keep going but they encourage me to keep going and trying to do better things in life and on the field.”
The team has, for the most part in the past, depended on the seniors and the starting juniors to step up and be leaders through communication with the coaches and other players. Since Barksdale has been a starter for the second year, his leadership has been recognized by other players, coaches and recruiters around.
“The team is depending on me a lot,” Barksdale said. “From encouraging them to reassuring them, it is heavily weighed on my shoulders this year. Nothing really has changed from the workout schedule or anything else, but feels heavily weighted.”
Barksdale, a 6’3”, 190-pound defensive back/receiver, caught the attention of recruiters with a 94-yard punt return touchdown at Clarksdale last year. Looking back, that run went a long way in winning the first game for the Tigers as the final score was 19-13.
He is a three-star recruit on rivals.com, ranked No. 46 in cornerbacks. He verbally committed to play at Ole Miss for the 2008 football season.
Last year he logged two rushes for 68 yards and three touchdowns. On defense he had 31 total tackles, 29 solos and four interceptions.
Many scouting programs have been seen at South Panola’s games and practices. With the different reviews of the players and coaches, it can be confusing how the image of the Tiger team is affected.
“With those recruiter companies, it sometimes boosts the image but it is how people look at those comments,” he replied.
“The relationship with the new coaches and this year’s team is going really smooth,” Barksdale added. “Everywhere you go you are gonna have some people who just want to act out but other than that it is going smooth.”
Barksdale has a lot of confidence in this year’s Tiger team.
“The Tiger team this year will be looking and preparing for another state title.”
With the changed schedule containing new and old rivals, everyone has their opinion on the hardest game that the Tiger team will face.
“Clarksdale, yeah Clarksdale,” he said. “They have most of their good players returning this year and they are not a sorry team.”
Bud knows this year is going to be a big year for the Tiger team. With the new coaches, the history of four state titles, (three he helped to get and is looking for the fourth one), he said being a senior feels good. It is encouraging to know the history of the Tiger team. Also, it feels to him like nothing can keep him from accomplishing his goals for the team.
Barksdale, along with other players from team, went for an unofficial visit to the Ole Miss campus and saw how the Rebel program is growing and his interest caught. He said Ole Miss has a lot of past Tiger players. That really drew him there because he knows them and they know him. He also like the program and what they are trying to accomplish.
Some cousins he mentioned who played ball at South Panola include James Barksdale, Lendrell and Kendrell Barksdale, both of whom play at the University of Central Arkansas, and Reterio and Toriano Brown.
He is the son of Patricia Reed of Batesville and Ricky Smith of Sardis. He is a member of Mt. Olivet M.B. Church and he has four sisters who grew up with him.