Gene's Page caught up with Columbus High School linebacker Gabriel O'Neal and did a comprehensive interview about what he thought of his official visit to Mississippi State."> Gene's Page caught up with Columbus High School linebacker Gabriel O'Neal and did a comprehensive interview about what he thought of his official visit to Mississippi State.">

Gabriel O'Neal talks about MSU visit

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/highschool/football/2004/onealgabriel.jpg" align="left" width="120" height="161"> Gene's Page caught up with Columbus High School linebacker Gabriel O'Neal and did a comprehensive interview about what he thought of his official visit to Mississippi State.

Gabriel O'Neal

Talk about the impressions of your visit to Mississippi State this weekend.
"It was pretty good. I met all of the coaches. They seem pretty nice."

Who was your player host?
"Omarr Conner."

You played against him. Did you learn some things about Omarr that you didn't know before?
"No, not really. I already knew him pretty well. He was trying to persuade me to keep everything here, don't run out of state. He talked pretty good, now. They are young and are determined to win and need some help."

When did you meet Coach Croom?
"When I got there, Friday evening."

Was that your one on one meeting with him?
"I had that Saturday."

Talk about your impressions of Coach Croom.
"He was a very calm and collective person. He doesn't get excited real quick. He can get on your level and then he can get on his level. I liked him pretty well."

What were some things he told you that he liked about you?
"He said he liked my athletic ability. He sure wants me to come. He offered me. He said when he gets back from Green Bay he is supposed to come by the house and talk to my mom. She was also with me and talked to him.

"He said they are going to have a new weightroom and new lockerroom built, too. They are going to make it like a coliseum all the way around. I think it is a 3 million job. They are supposed to start this spring or in the summer and be done by the end of the year."

Are you going to watch the Green Bay game this afternoon?
"Yes sir."

Did you get to go one on one with any of the other coaches?
"I met Coach Johnson, the defensive coordinator."

What were your impressions of him?
"He is pretty nice."

Did he tell you much about what he will be running at Mississippi State?
"They are going to run the 3-4 with a Rover and SAM linebacker. He wants me to play the SAM. It's like a cover and blitzing linebacker. I liked that."

What did he say he liked about you?
"He said they will probably have to fight for me (laugh) because the running back coach has seen the film and he is trying to get me to play on the offensive side."

Did you get to meet the new weight coach?
"Yes sir. He is pretty good. He showed us different stretches and weight lifts and techniques. Then, he told us where he came from and what program he uses. I think the olympic teams uses it as well."

What are some things you now know about Mississippi State that you didn't know about them prior to your visit?
"I went to a lot of places I didn't know they had. One place was a place (Sanderson Rec Center) where they had mountain climbing, four or five basketball courts. It is pretty nice."

Does having a place like that play a factor in your recruitment?
"Yes sir. It is nice to have a place where you can go and chill out and stay out of trouble."

Now that you have visited Mississippi State, where do they fit in your recruitment?
"I put all three of them together. It is going to be between Southern (Miss), Memphis and Mississippi State."

When do you visit Southern Miss and Memphis?
"I visit Southern Miss next Friday and Memphis the week after."

When will you make your decision?
"Probably right after the visits, a couple of days after."


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 swindoll@genespage.com.

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