Coach Duke, tell me your impressions of Lance Fremin.
"His work ethic is very good. The kid works extremely hard. He is a real competitor. He is a coach's son and understands the game. The intangibles that provides him can't be measured. His biggest asset, probably because he is our smallest lineman, is the tenacity that he plays with. He is a real firey, go-getter. As he gets bigger and stronger, I believe he will develop into a very fine college lineman. He has been a real fun guy to coach. I don't know who will coach him on the college level, but he will have fun with him and enjoy him."
His position in high school has mainly been offensive guard. You are going to start him at center in the game. How has he handled that position?
"He had a little trouble at the beginning with the quarterback exchange. He is doing fine with the shotgun snap but the under center snap we were a little shaky on in the mini-camp. It wasn't just him but the quarterbacks, too. Omarr and Akeem had played a lot in the (shot)gun. As the weeks have gone by, we have gotten better and better. I think yesterday we only had one bust on the snap itself."
What have you thought about Donovan Davis?
"When you look at him standing still, you wonder if he can move. Then, he gets out there and the ball is snapped and he shows how athletic he is. He moves around so well for a guy that is 6-foot-7, 300+ pounds. To see him pull out on screens and go up against linebackers when he gets to the second level is amazing.
"He is a real pleasant kid. He had a very good grade point average and ACT score. He has done nothing but say yes sir and no sir to all the coaches all week long. I know it is a long way from now, but I think Donovan may have the tools to play on Sunday."
You've got a couple of Ole Miss signees on your line as well. Talk a little about Marcus Cohen and Thomas Eckers.
"Talking to some of the college coaches, they said Marcus was big and physical but his mobility would be the question mark. But, he moves really well.
"From what I have seen of Thomas Eckers, he has very good speed for an offensive lineman and he understands the game. He has had no trouble at all playing guard or tackle on either side. He understands the offense and what we are trying to do. In turn, that enables him to pick up on blocking schemes."
Steve Pahlman is a Pearl River CC signee. What have you thought of his play this week?
"He is one that I wanted. I saw him in a scrimmage last summer for the referees down in Petal. He got after a guy and got him on the ground. The coaches had to come pull him off of the guy. He is extremely aggressive and is a big, physical kid. I can say this about him; If I had to walk down a dark alley, I would like to have that guy walking with me. He is a very mean, intense football player. I've been very pleased with him.
"He hurt his knee yesterday and they told me to hold him out. He didn't want to be held out. He wants to play. [Steve had a minor sprain knee. He is fine.-Gene]
"He is a qualifier. He might be the kind of guy who, after one year of junior college, D-I coaches might go after. I don't know why no DI school signed him because he moves well enough and is in the 6-foot-5, 280-290 range. And his intensity level is unbelievable."
The last one you have is Jackson State signee Lorenzo Breland (Picayune HS).
"We have played Picayune four times in the last two years. The main reason I wanted him is because of what I had seen him do against us. He is not your prototype offensive lineman. He is short and squatty. He never comes out. When we rotate the linemen out, he stays in there and moves to other positions. He also plays with a great deal of intensity. He is kind of the bell cow of that bunch. He gets along with everybody. He comes from real good stock. I think Jackson State got themselves a prize."
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports and Mississippi high school sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at email@example.com.