The ability to attack offense and defensive schemes on both sides of theball is an attribute Durham Dolphins player Xavier Barksdale has in his arsenal. Barksdale, age 11, excels at the running back and outside linebacker position. While he’s in just his third year of playing organizedfootball, it didn’t take long for him to make his name known around hisrespective league.
In 2019, his league didn’t have a U10 team, but his tenacity and big-play ability earned him a spot on a U12 roster where he competed with kids twoto three years older. While playing outside linebacker, the opposing offense certainly had their hands full. Barksdale made his presence known, capitalizing on specific situations where the Dolphins needed a stop. His
fantastic play in the 2019 season earned him the most improved player award and Mr. Dolphin. He was also selected as defensive MVP in just his second season, which is just the start of his young successful footballcareer.
In 2020, he was selected to the North American showcase to represent team Ontario for the U10 age group, where he would’ve made a strong impact. However, due to COVID complications, it was canceled. This coming season, Barksdale will look to separate himself from the rest of the league with his skillset and football IQ to earn his way back to another showcase.
As an aspiring running back looking to make his name known out the backfield, Barksdale idolizes New YorkGiants Running Back Saquon Barkley. Many running backs can catch the ball throughout the NFL, serving as a nightmare to opposing defenses. Barksdale loves running the wheel route, which solidifies him as a threat tonot only ground and pound the ball, but his ability to get open outside near the sideline provides a securityblanket for his quarterback.
While Barksdale may stuff the stat sheet, his leadership and intensiveness earned him team captain, where the younger players look up to him, connecting the team, making Barksdale have all the attributes a coach wants. One of his favorite things about football is teamwork, where one of his main priorities isstaying on the same page with the rest of his teammates.
Xavier and his two brothers, Christian and Miles, run hills together to improve the necessary speed andendurance, so when it’s time to hit the field, he already has the upper hand as his preparation is a recipefor success.
Looking at Barksdale’s life off the field, his academic performance is quite impressive; he’s been a straight-Astudent for the last three years, proving to take his time in the classroom seriously
and productively. While his dream is to follow his idol’s footsteps, Saquon Barkley, his goal is to attend PennState University and play in front of the massive crowd at Beaver Stadium.
Making his parents proud is Barksdale’s main priority, he recognizes all the hard work his parents have putin, and he uses this as a chip on his shoulder when entering the classroom or the football field.
With Barksdale’s assets, he’s certainly in the right direction of accomplishing his dream of making it to PennState and playing at the collegiate level. His name is one to watch in the coming future.