Talk about the visit overall; some impressions you got of Mississippi State from the visit.
"I liked it. It was alright. It was different. That was the biggest thing about it. It was different from what I thought it was going to be. And I think it is a great situation for me to come in and play early. They do need some help at cornerback. And, with the new coaches I get a fresh start just like the other players. Already, the coaching staff and Coach Croom know more about me than they do about their players because they had to put time in recruiting me and they haven't had time to talk to their players and watch film on them."
What were your impressions of Coach Croom?
"I talked to him for maybe an hour. I was impressed. He is a great guy, real cool, real laid back. And he looks like he is smoking, like he's ready to make something happen. I respect that. I appreciate him a lot for pulling me out and talking to me like that. He made it clear he wanted me and it means a lot knowing that the head coach wants you instead of just the person recruiting you. It means a lot knowing that the one who is going to make the decision overall wants you. I really think he is going to turn the program around. If not, he is going to die trying. That means a lot.
"I respect him a lot for staying at Green Bay because he made a commitment to their entire program and he is going to stick with it. He also made a commitment (to Mississippi State), but he had to finish one thing before he moved to the next. You have to respect that."
What did he say he liked about your talent as a cornerback?
"Man, we talked about that as well. He told me about some of the people he had worked with in the NFL. He talked about me being aggressive and that I was mentally strong after overcoming a lot of stuff that I have overcome already. That gives me an edge over a lot of the other players."
Did you get to meet any of the other coaches?
"I met every coach. Everywhere we went, they went. At lunch, dinner, we all sat down and mixed and matched and talked. It was nice. Everyone seemed like they wanted me. I would like to go somewhere where I am wanted instead of going to the best program in the world and be looked past."
You mentioned in our previous conversation that having a support group is important to you. Do you feel you can get that from Mississippi State, their coaches and other players?
"Most definitely, most definitely. I loved it. The players were real cool. I felt real comfortable. They were talking to me like I was already there. They were already talking about schemes and who was going to be in the secondary with me. It was like I was already there. It was like they already knew I was going to come. The academic advisor and academic director are also great. The students said they get a lot of support."
Did it surprise you that they felt that comfortable with you?
"A lot of them had seen my tape. My host and some of the other players had seen my tape. And they had watched taped on some other recruits. They told me how they felt about it and they said I could really come in and play early if I wanted to. With the playing situation and the relationship with Coach Croom and the other coaches, that makes it a whole lot easier."
Who was your player host?
What did you think about him?
"He was cool (laugh). He told me the reasons why he chose Mississippi State. It was basically the same reasons I want to go somewhere. I want to go somewhere where I am wanted the most. That way, in your good times and bad times, they still like you. They still want you because you are the best that they have because they chose you over somebody else."
The last time we talked you mentioned that track will be important to you. Did Mississippi State talk to you about track?
"Yes, the track coach (Steve Dudley) pulled me over after the basketball game. We sat and we talked for a while."
What did you think about Coach Dudley?
"Man, I loved him even better than I loved the football coaches."
What was it about him that impressed you so much?
"I don't know. But, everyone says that who has met him. He didn't say anything special, but he had a twinkle in his eye. I don't know what it is. Man, I love him, he is a great guy, a great guy.
"I really think he could get me to running a 4.2, a 4.1 and help me go to the league (NFL). He said he is going to work with me regardless of whether I run track or don't."
It sounds like you think he can help you get to the NFL?
"Yes, and with the connections that Coach Croom has, it's almost hands down."
What do you think about living in a big city and then visiting a college in a fairly small town? Does that matter to you?
"It doesn't really matter, but it does. Anybody that tells you it doesn't is lying. Of course it means a lot because you are used to a certain way of life. But, in a college town, it is not as slow paced as probably the rest of Mississippi is. But the area I saw and that I am going to be living in, I could see myself there. It's not too slow paced but yet it's not too out in the woods country. I just thought it was going to be cotton fields everywhere. I didn't know what to expect."
So, even though State is in a small town it still sounds like you think highly of them?
"Yeah, even though people may consider it a small town, a small city, I'm willing to deal with that for four or five years to get to the ultimate picture. I love it. I love it in a strange way. I can't even explain it."
How far is Mississippi State from Atlanta?
What do you think about that driving distance?
"Four hours, that's not far at all. There are a lot of people in my area that are from Mississippi."
Did you get to meet any of the Atlanta players that play at Mississippi State?
"They all came back today."
Where does State fit into your recruiting puzzle?
"I don't want to give out any secrets but they are in my top three."
Who are the other ones?
"I'n not going to tell the other ones (laugh)."
What other official visits do you have set?
"I am going to Auburn this weekend. I will probably go to Duke on the 23rd. I have already been to Wisconsin and Wake Forest."
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.