January 4, 2009

Baker and Barrent enjoy All-American experience

Future Spartans Edwin Baker of Oak Park High School (MI) and David Barrent of Valley High School (IA) spent the last week deep in the heart of Texas participating in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Game. SpartanMag.com was on hand and was able to catch up with the future teammates after the game and get their take on the week's events.

The selection to the All-American team is much more than simply playing in the game on Saturday. The week is filled with activities for players involved. Many of the activities are geared toward not only rewarding the players for their hard work and dedication, but also to showcase the opportunities and sacrifices made by the members of the United States Army.

The game itself did not turn out to be the highlight for either future Spartan. Baker was unable to participate due to a knee injury he suffered during the regular season at Oak Park and Barrent's West Team lost to the East squad by a score of 30-17.

Despite all that, both Baker and Barrent spoke highly of their time in San Antonio.

"It is still a great experience being here and getting to know all the other players and cheering on my teammates to the win," Baker said. "I really would like to be out there, but I know that it is best for me to rest my knee so I will be ready to go this summer."

Barrent echoed those sentiments despite the loss.

"Being out here and going against so many good players has been a really great experience for me. It is a lot different than high school, everybody here is really good and that just helps me improve," he said.

Barrent also talked about what stood out to him the most this week.

"A lot of what I will remember is the stuff we did with the Army and getting to meet the soldiers and hear the stories about the stuff they have gone through," he said.

Playing in the game had special meaning for Barrent due to the fact that his cousin Brian Hart is currently serving in Iraq. He repairs helicopters for the Army.

Baker echoed those sentiments as well and also talked about the comradery that developed this past week.

"Getting to know the other players and coming together as a team in such a short period of time was a great part too."

Now that they are done with football for the next few months, Baker and Barrent talked about what is next.

"I am going to go back to school this spring and work on getting stronger," Barrent said. "I will also be throwing the shot and disc in track."

Baker, informed us that right now his knee is in the 70% range, but he is not worried about that come next fall.

"I am going to continue to work on my rehab so I can get back to 100% and be ready to go this summer. I will be ready to carry the ball 40 times if I have too … that is my goal."

With Baker and Barrent joining one of the best classes in Spartan history, Michigan State fans can be excited that in a few years the two future teammates may be getting All-American recognition again, in Green and White.

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