EAST LANSING, Mich. â€“ Michigan State sophomore offensive tackle David Barrent has decided to forgo his final three years of eligibility, citing chronic lower-back problems. Fifth-year Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio confirmed Barrentâ€™s decision to apply for medical disqualification on Tuesday, May 10. Once his paperwork is approved, Barrent will remain on scholarship to continue his education while not counting toward the NCAAâ€™s 85-man scholarship limit.
The 6-foot-8, 308-pound Barrent earned his first letter in 2010 after appearing in seven games, primarily on special teams. The red-shirt freshman played behind second-team All-Big Ten left tackle D.J. Young. Barrent, a mechanical engineering major, was named to the Academic All-Big Ten Team.
He was redshirted as a true freshman and underwent lower-back surgery in December 2009. Barrent did not participate in contact drills the following spring while recovering from the surgery.
â€œIâ€™ll miss the camaraderie,â€ Barrent said. â€œIâ€™ve made lifelong friendships, but Iâ€™ll definitely miss being on the field competing with my teammates. Iâ€™m thankful for the opportunity to remain close to the program while pursuing my bachelorâ€™s degree in mechanical engineering.â€
â€œWe fully support David Barrentâ€™s decision,â€ Dantonio said. â€œHis long-term health is our No. 1 concern.â€
A native of Clive, Iowa, Barrent represented the West Team in the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. He garnered All-America honors from Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report, SuperPrep and PrepStar. Barrent was rated among the nation's top prospects by ESPNU (No. 70), Rivals.com (No. 85), PrepStar (No. 85), CollegeFootballNews.com (No. 91) and Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report (No. 156). He also was listed among the nation's top offensive tackles by Scouts, Inc. (No. 8), Rivals.com (No. 9) and Scout.com (No. 27). In addition, Barrent was ranked as the state's No. 1 overall prospect by Rivals.com.
A two-year starter for Coach Gary Swenson at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Barrent earned consensus first-team all-state honors as a senior. As a senior, he anchored an offensive line that helped the Tigers rush for more than 3,100 yards en route to the 2008 Class 4A state championship (14-0 record). Barrent started all 13 games as a junior for a team that finished 12-1 while advancing to the state semifinals.