Khadijah Forrest, The Black Bear – “Follow Your Passion. Find Your Place” is the Missouri State University motto. Senior and facility management major, James Barnes, Jr., is an example of a student who found his place on the MSU Bears football team.
Barnes began his football career at a young age in his hometown St. Louis, MO.
“I started playing football in 7th grade,” said Barnes. “I grew up playing tee ball, baseball, and played soccer for a long time until my dad let me play football.”
Barnes played for his high school team at Trinity Catholic High School where he was a Class 3 first-team all-state defensive lineman as a senior in 2010 for coach Leon Hite according to the Missouri State Bears webpage.
Barnes, who plays left defensive end, red-shirted for the MSU Bears in 2011 and earned a scholarship to play on the team in 2012.
As a junior, Barnes started all 12 games in the 2014 season and named Defensive Lineman of the Year by the coaching staff.
Barnes explained that his biggest motivation for playing football comes from his family.
“Just want to make my mom proud and to see a smile on her face and be a good example to my younger brothers to show that they can do this too.”
Barnes said when he’s off the field some of his favorite things to do is to cook and read books in his spare time.