Sam Webb: Let us start out first talking about how things went for Jalen (Dalton) on the football field last year.
Adrian Snow: “He had good year for us. He ended up being the Lineman of the Year in our league. A good thing for him and us is he realizes he is not there by no means. He’s got a lot of work to do. We’re excited to see him grow in this next year also.”
Sam Webb: Give me an idea of what he does well on the football field and how he projects on the next level.
Adrian Snow: “First of all, he’s extremely long. There is no doubt, he has a tremendous upside. His upside is his strength. He is getting stronger as he has played and he has done some really good things. He has a great frame, large frame. It helps him out. He is a big kid. He is 6-6. He weighs about 235. He moves well laterally. He can just reach and grab where other people just can’t. His wingspan is amazing.”
Sam Webb: Since the last time we talked to him in early January how many more offers has he picked up since then? We had him at about 16.
Adrian Snow: “He got offers Texas last week. He’s got offered by Auburn, UVA, (North) Carolina, Duke, TCU, (North Carolina) State, Clemson, Wake, Florida State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Penn State, West Virginia, Michigan, and South Carolina. Ohio State was here, came in the spring, so we have had a bunch of people come through here. Not in the spring, but they came just before national signing day.”
Sam Webb: Michigan has been there a couple of times…. Coach Manning and then Coach Manning with Coach Hoke. Give me an idea first of what Coach Manning has kind of said to you about Michigan and how they see Jalen and what Jalen has said about Michigan.
Adrian Snow: “I think the biggest thing is they want to get him on campus. Just like anything. It’s easier to sell your spot when you get them at your house. So, they’re trying to get him there. I think for Jalen or anybody, when the head coach comes by, that’s a positive. That means something… that they are extremely interested. I think (Jalen) likes it and understands it. He understands Michigan and everything. It’s just one of those deals. He understands that. At this point we are going to wait until the spring. Once spring comes around he is going to narrow that thing down about five or six. Once he does that, we will go from there.”
Sam Webb: Obviously he has to rely on you a great deal to get your impressions of the coaches and what you think. So, your interaction with Coach Manning, your interaction with Coach Hoke, what did you think of those guys?
Adrian Snow: “Oh, great guys, great guys. I have talked with Coach Manning a few times. Coach Hoke is just a down-to-earth type of guy. He came in, somebody had some Girl Scout cookies, and he was eating Girl Scout cookies. It wasn’t just for me or anybody else. He is the head coach of Michigan, we all know that, that’s a good thing. When he was here, he was just like some (normal) guy, which was a good thing for us. We had a good time while he was here and talked a little bit. Then we went from there.”
Sam Webb: When he gets ready to sit down and either narrow down his list or make his ultimate decision, what are going to be the biggest factors in those choices?
Adrian Snow: “I think the school is the first and foremost. In this profession that we are in today, in college coaching, it’s great to love the staff but I understand what staff goes through. There is a lot of turnover with the staff. I think it is one of those things where if you see the school itself and it’s a positive place for you… how do you fit in that place, who do you think would take care of you the best… where you have a better opportunity to play as early as possible. We all say we would like to play as freshmen but I know physically a lot of kids aren’t ready at that point. I’m not saying he’s not going to be, it’s just one of those things. I think playing earlier would be a positive for anybody. Let’s be honest, if you do all the hard work, you want to play.”
Sam Webb: Do you think distance from home is going to be a factor for him?
Adrian Snow: “I don’t believe so. Let’s be honest, we’re ten minutes away from Wake Forest University. If he went to Wake Forest it wouldn’t matter. He is not going to get to go home anyway. There is not a lot of down time at anywhere. It’s not like you are going to be going home all the time. You practice for bowl games and so that goes into December and hopefully into January and by the time you get back from the winter semester session, shoot, you’re back running and there’s not a lot of down time. I don’t think that’s a big deal to him.”
Sam Webb: Last one for you coach, and this is kind of a two-parter. You mentioned that he is going to be narrowing down his list. I am curious; do you want him to wait until after his senior season to make a final decision? Have you guys talked about him getting it out of the way before that? And the last part of that question… has he kind of expressed to you any idea about schools that he knows are going to make that cut?
Adrian Snow: “Yes, me and him have a list now. When I say me and him, he has expressed his list at this time and he has not told anybody. He has told these schools. My big thing to him or to any kid that I coach is just be honest with people. You want them to be honest with you, you need to be honest with them. That’s all I ask, just be honest. In that sense, he has done that not with one or two different schools. But for the most part he’s pretty much got a pretty big open mind at this point... trying to see what he wants and then go from there. The first part of the question was narrowing it down or when he would decide. I think more along the lines of when it feels right for him. I do believe he is going to graduate early. I’m about positive of that. In that sense, him graduating early, it would lend him to basically doing it a little sooner than later; i.e., the first of the year or maybe during our season.”