PUEBLO — From Pueblo South to Iowa Western Community College and now Texas State, it has been quite the football journey for junior standout Marcell Barbee.
"I've worked my tail off for this and earned it but at the same time I'm humbled and blessed by it, couldn't ask for anything better," Barbee said.
It's a story of perseverance and a love of the game for the 6'2 under-recruited wide receiver. After a two-year stop in the junior college ranks, the Pueblo native picked up his grades and a Division I offer to play for the Bobcats program. From there, the rest has played out on the field with impressive results.
"Me making it out of JUCO helped define a lot of things for me," Barbee said. "I feel like I became a better person when I got to Texas State and it made me want to be a better player."
It has been a pretty seamless transition to the FBS level for No. 18, ranking tied for fifth in the nation with 10 receiving touchdowns. A debut that earned Barbee third-team All-Sun Belt honors in his first year.
"Knowing you can play at this level makes you want to play even longer," Barbee said.
Saving his best for top competition with a pair of scores against BYU and Boston College, the 21-year old is just scratching the surface of what he can do with two seasons of eligibility remaining.
"It's a year-round thing for me and I think if I keep putting in work, I think it will all fall into place, I'll capitalize and have an even better year," Barbee said.
A lesson for all those who dream of playing on the biggest stage, that it's never too late to grab a hold of your future.
"I want to graduate, keep getting better and playing ball, obviously the next level is the dream, I guess the tale goes on," Barbee said.