You had a great season this past year? In fact, you were recently selected to at least one All-State team.
"I feel like I had a pretty good year. My job, as a noseguard, is to take up space and stuff the run. Playing noseguard, at any level, if you can make 65 tackles and 5 sacks, then you've had a good season. A lot of people think you should have big numbers, but coaches, such as Coach Davis at Mississippi State, understand the noseguard position. I was double-teamed and triple-teamed all year."
Is noseguard the position Mississippi State is recruiting you for?
"It is going to be both (noseguard and defensive tackle), but noseguard, primarily. They compare me to (former MSU noseguard) Toby Golliday. If I can play anywhere near his level, Mississippi State will have a superstar (laugh)."
The last time we talked you weighed 305. Are you still at that weight?
You were benching about 300 and squatting over 500 the last time we talked. How you increased those numbers?
"Yes sir, I am benching 340 now. My squat is about 535. I have a personal trainer, Craig Robertson. He played football at Ohio State and with the Kansas City Chiefs. He is also a defensive tackle. He is a good guy."
Why did you decide to work with him?
"I am working on three things with him, speed, size and strength."
How long have you being working with him?
"It has been going on for about two months, ever since the season ended."
How often do you work out with him?
"One hour a day except for Sunday."
Have you noticed improvements?
"Yes sir, I'm losing weight. I am 305 pounds and my body fat was 25%. That was all that I had. My body is becoming more lean. Basically, I'm trying to get down to about 280, then build back up with muscle to 305. I just want to build my body up and get rid of the baby fat. I'm also working on some different moves with Craig."
Have you noticed any difference in your speed?
"I really don't know because all I really do is run sprints. And by the time I run sprints, I'm dead tired. I also run a mile a day as a warm up. Then I lift weights. Really, my initial explosion has always been good. That is probably my biggest asset. Craig said I have enough quickness and size to play on the NFL level. That gave me an extra boost."
When are you set up for your official visits?
"Mississippi State on January 11th. West Virginia on January 18th and Tulane on January 25th. There are a couple of more but I haven't gotten the dates squared away."
It sounds like you still have a lot of schools after you.
"Yes, but I'm not going anywhere (laugh)."
What schools are calling you?
"Mississippi State, Tulane, West Virginia, Alabama State, Jackson State, Grambling and schools like that. A lot of the big schools have settled down and are going after who they want."
How often are you receiving calls from not only schools but people like me who have recruiting services and publications?
"Once a week from coaches (It is a dead period right now and schools can only call once a week.) I receive about 3 or 4 a week from people like you."
Is it bothersome to receive calls from folks like me?
"Nah, I enjoy talking to people. To be honest with you, I enjoy giving interviews because I know I'm not going to get this opportunity everyday of my life. I'm just soaking up the fun."
You seem to be a really nice guy who I hear a lot of good things about and I'm not just talking about athletics.
"I' didn't play football at Provine for myself. I played for my teammates and my community. When I'm through playing for Provine, I know I need to go back and help anyway that I can. When people need help, I'm going to do it. I'm in the top 15 in my class and I feel it is only right for me to help where I can."
Switching subjects, you and Monte Collins are two top senior prospects on the Provine team, but there are some really good underclassmen as well, aren't there?
"Yes sir, we have talent in every class at Provine."
Two that I know about are Jeremy Young and Quinton Culberson. Tell me about them.
"Those two are going to be All-Americans. Both of them are the best athletes I have seen on the high school level in awhile. I'm not including Jerious (Norwood) in that because he is one of a kind. Jeremy is 6-4, 180-190 and has played quarterback all his life. His dad, Nate Young, is the quarterback coach and offensive coordinator at Provine. His dad was a quarterback at Jackson State and Provine. His brother, who was a sophomore at Hinds, just committed to Wyoming. (Jeremy) has one of the prettiest passes you will ever see. He knows how to take command. He has a lot of poise, real calm and athletic. He runs the forty in 4.5 or close to it. He is a quarterback with good athleticism. It's fun to watch him. Mississippi State, according to our coach, has already recognized his ability by offering him a scholarship at their 7-on-7 camp this past summer. They offered him and Quinton. Jeremy is a National Honor Society student.
"Khalib (his teammates call Quinton Culberson, Khalib) is a physical specimen. He is a playmaker. He is 6-2 to 6-3. If he came to Mississippi State he would probably play Dog Safety. He has the speed to play wide receiver or running back. He is a great athlete and is strong. He works out with Monte and me. That is how strong he is. He is about 210 to 215. We are a little bit stronger than him, but as far as our workouts, he lifts with us. Eventually, he will be benching around four-hundred. He has less than 10% body fat."
Some other juniors I've heard about are Terrence Kelly, Greg Clark, Sandy Quinn and Robert Hough.
"Sandy Quinn is a defensive end/tight end who is about 6-4, 245. Greg Clark is a 5-11, 215-pound running back. Robert Hough, who is the brother of Ole Miss' Charlie Anderson, is probably the best tight end in the state. He also plays defensive end. Robert is about 6-5, 195. Terrence Kelly is a 6-1, 225-pound linebacker (he is MSU's Tommy Kelly's brother)."
Thanks for the info., Otis. I have really enjoyed talking to you.
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at email@example.com.