D.J. Gardner Talks About His Visit to MSU

Gene's Page did an interview with Okolona High School senior two-guard/small forward David (D.J.) Gardner (6-7, 205) and his mother, Angela Gardner, about DJ's official visit to Mississippi State this past weekend.

David Gardner

What was your visit to Mississippi State like this past weekend?
"It was wonderful. I visited different parts of the university that I hadn't seen before. I hadn't seen their Union and their academic center before. And they are adding a new practice facility right in front of the Hump."

Does the practice facility make a difference to you as a basketball player?
"Well, the facility doesn't have anything to do with it but the coaching staff and how they feel about me does."

What did the coaching staff talk to you about while on the official visit?
"They didn't try to sugar coat anything. They just told me how he was. They didn't try to make it like a false visit. Everything that he said and everything that we did was true, like real life. It was normal, no sugar coating."

After visiting Mississippi State, where do they fit in your recruitment?
"Going into Mississippi State I didn't really know what to expect. But coming back home after seeing all the stuff it was just wonderful, it was wonderful seeing all the places."

Have you official visited all the schools that you are considering?
"Yes, Auburn, Memphis and Mississippi State. Those are my final three."

Of those three, does one stand out over the other two?
"I am going to let you guess on that (laugh)."

Angela Gardner

What are your thoughts about Mississippi State after visiting them with DJ?
"What I learned about them is they are good people. The visit was simple and plane. It wasn't fixed up and pretend. It was mostly about how life would be if he chooses to go to State. I liked that because it wasn't a show, a put on."

Did you know much about the coaches beforehand?
"Actually, we didn't because they came on pretty late recruiting DJ. Actually, he had spent more time with them than I did because they would come to the school and watch him work out.

"(MSU head) Coach (Rick) Stansbury opened up his home to us on the Saturday we were down there (for the official visit). He grilled steaks and we had fish and bar-b-que. His wife said her home was our home. They were just nice people. It was just real nice."

Obviously, wherever he goes, you, as a mother, are putting your son into the coaches hands. What are your thoughts about that in regard to the Mississippi State coaches?
"I could see myself trusting him with them because they just made us feel so welcome. It's important to know that I can trust them with him because he's not a person that just talks to everyone or deals with a lot of people. I saw him being comfortable with them. And it means a lot to know that he is that comfortable with them. So, if he chooses to go to State, then I know, if he has a problem he will have that relationship with them where he can go to them and talk to them."

Who is his recruiting coach for Mississippi State?
"(Assistant) Coach (Marcus) Grant."

What are your impressions of him?
"Coach Grant is a nice guy. I do believe he has DJ's best interest at heart. To sum it up, he is just an all-around good guy. He is a guy who I can say would be a good role model for DJ if he chooses to go to State. And I would feel comfortable with him being around him."

Obviously, when a person goes on a visit they have questions they want answered. Do you feel like all your questions were answered?
"Everything was. My basic concern was with the academics. And going to the three schools I do feel like wherever he goes he will get a good education.

"Their academic lady (at Mississippi State) explained things so well I actually had no questions. It was apparent that she loves her job so there is no doubt that if he chooses to go to State I have no doubts that he will leave there with a degree in something that he will love doing."

When will he announce who he will sign with?
"He was going to announce this Friday but he wants a little more time to decide because he is really struggling with his decision."

D.J. has offers from Ole Miss, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, UTEP, Arkansas State, Auburn and Mississippi State.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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