RB Gerrod Rivers Update

[Premium Article] Gerrod Rivers is a 5-10, 210-pound running back who plays for Butler High School in North Carolina. Rivers plans on walking on at MSU this coming season. I caught up with his head coach, Mike Newson, recently and he talked about Rivers.

Talk a little about Rivers.
"He is a great kid and is good size. He is about 5-10 and 210 pounds. He is extremely fast. He has been clocked at a 4.3 forty. He runs the 100 and 200 and runs all the relay teams for our school. His hundred times have been 10.9 and 10.7. I don't know his best time but he can fly.

"He is a hard worker. He is a bruising back. He is a big, strong kid who benches about 350 and squats over 500 pounds. We do really deep squats.

"Although he moved here as a sophomore, he has started high school since he was a freshman. He had a great freshman year. We actually played against him. He rushed for well over a 1,000 yards his freshman year."

How did he wind up playing for you?
"They were changing coaches. He ran AAU track for our receivers coach. His dad wanted him to come over here because they really liked the coaching staff.

"He come over after his sophomore year and rushed for about 1,200 yards his junior year. Last year, he rushed for 1,620 yards. He is our career rushing leader.

"We had another kid who is going to Wake Forest who had right at 3,000 yards total offense his senior year. We had to give him the ball a lot. If not for him, Gerrod would have had a lot more carries. In the two games that Kenny was hurt, Gerrod rushed for 225 yards and 250 yards because he was getting to touch the ball more."

It sounds like he is pretty durable because he doesn't sound like he has been out due to injuries.
"He hasn't. From what I understand, his flexibility is a problem to college coaches. But usually, when flexibility is an issue, you worry about him pulling muscles, but he's never done that. If it hasn't been an issue in four years, I don't know why it's an issue now."

What colleges did recruit him?
"He was recruited by all the schools up here, (North) Carolina, (North Carolina) State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech."

Did any of them offer him a scholarship?
"None offered him.

"I really think all the colleges up here missed on him. He was offered a full scholarship to Lenoir Rhyne, a private Division 2 school up here. (Gerrod) thought he could play on the Division I level so he kept working and we kept looking for places that he could play. His parents did a great job getting film out to a lot of schools. Then one day he came in during weight lifting and told me he was going to Mississippi State."

Did Mississippi State offer him a scholarship?
"No, what they did is invite him down to walk on the team. After talking to their coach, I feel confident that if he walks on and has a few days of really good practices, they will offer him a scholarship."

"Several places offered him the chance to walk on as a regular walk-on player and come in with the regular walk-ons and not come in with the scholarship players. State offered him a chance to come in with the regular players.

"He is coming down to Mississippi State for an unofficial visit next week (the June 16-20 range) and will probably go back down for the second summer session. I think he will wind up being pretty impressive down there. He is pretty impressive to watch just because of his speed."

Thanks for your time, Coach Newsom.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher and owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial site for Mississippi State sports since October, 1996. He can be reached by email at swindoll@genespage.com

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