Talk about your impressions of your visit to Mississippi State and what you thought of Coach Croom.
"Coach Croom is one of the most influential people that I have ever met and that was only after sitting down and talking to him for an hour, 30 minutes at least. He is real humble in the way he talks to you. It was just the way he talked to you. It made you feel very comfortable around him. He seems like that kind of person. I already think very highly of him. I really enjoyed sitting down and talking to him."
"When the president (of MSU) and (MSU) athletic director Larry Templeton talked to us, they said when they were going through their coaching list they asked about all the coaches and that (Coach Croom) was the only one that nobody ever said anything bad about. He was the only one from a list of about 20 to 25 coaches that nobody ever said anything negative about. And they talked to pro coaches, college coaches and sports writers."
Did you feel Coach Croom spent enough time with the recruits during the official visit?
"He is really busy right now and I can understand where he is coming from. He told his (Green Bay) players that he has been coaching them and telling them to never give up, always stick with what you are doing. A coach like that would be labeled a hypocrite if he didn't stick with them."
Does that impress you that he is staying with them throughout the playoffs?
"Yeah, he is very loyal to everybody that he is associated with."
So, him not being there Sunday morning seeing you off doesn't bother you?
"No, I can go in there and watch him on tv." (Green Bay plays Philadelphia in an NFL playoff game Sunday afternoon.-Gene)
Are you going to watch the Green Bay/Philadelphia playoff game?
"Yes sir, I am going to sit down and watch it. I'm becoming a Green Bay fan now."
What did you think about the other MSU coaches?
"I think really highly of the other coaches. I have heard of them all. It's not like he brought a bunch of unknowns in."
What coaches did you talk to the most other than Coach Croom?
"(MSU OL coach J.B.) Grimes. He and the offensive coordinator (Woody McCorvey)."
That sounds like you will be playing on the offensive side of the ball.
"Yes sir, more than likely."
Is that what you really want to do? I know you also played on the defensive side of the ball in high school.
"It does not make a difference to me."
You told me in an earlier interview that you had an in-home visit with Coach Grimes. Was he any different in his own settings?
"No, he feels the same way. He is a great guy, himself. I am really impress with how his personality is. He is a lot like Coach Hallman, a real nice guy. He said once he gets on the practice field it is all business."
What did you and Coach McCorvey talk about?
"He talked about how they are going to run the (Green Bay) Packers offense. He said I'm starting out basically the same way he is because he doesn't know much about the offense either. He and Coach Croom haven't really had a chance to sit down and talk about it."
Your dad was with you on the visit. Did your dad talk to you about his opinion of Coach Croom after the visit was over?
"He told my dad something about me having a chance to go to the NFL if I stick with it. He said he has seen people who make it and he said I have a chance if I work for it."
Did you meet the new strength coach? If so, what did you think about him and the program that he is going to install?
"Yeah. He said he is going to put us on a program that LSU got on four years ago and that Southern Cal uses. He has a good theory. His theory is basically leg strength. He is going to be doing a lot of olympic lifts. It is basically legs. We will work out with the bench press but he will place a big emphasis on the legs. He showed us a bunch of power cleans, hand cleans, squats, box squats. He said it is a lot of athletic lifts. It has definitely got me excited. I am ready to get up there and gain 30 or 40 pounds and see what I can do."
Who was your player host?
"(Sophomore TE) Blake Pettit and (Redshirt freshman QB) Brett Wilcutt."
Were there any things about MSU you learned about that you didn't already know?
"It was pretty cool how they did pre-game and how they outfitted all the players. They took us through and showed us their selection of cleats, what the bowl rings looked like, what kind of helmets we would be having, what kind of jerseys we would be wearing. They had some jerseys that had out numbers on them. They had one with number 60 on it and it had Terry on it. They couldn't let us have it but they let us put it on. It was a lot of fun. That meant a lot to the parents more than anything."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.