A DECEMBER 31ST INTERVIEW WITH JUSTIN TYLER

Justin Tyler is a 6-4, 215-pound quarterback from Jones County High School in Gray, Georgia. Several publications list him among the top 25 quarterbacks in the south. He made first-team All-Middle Georgia and second-team All-State this season. Justin, a power-hitting third baseman, is considered one of the top baseball players in the country and in the latest Prospects Plus rankings is listed as the 141st best baseball prospect in the nation. He hit a combined 34 home runs the past two seasons.

I interviewed Justin late Monday. Here is the entire interview.

The last time I talked to your dad, he said the primary schools showing interest in you were South Carolina, Central Florida and Mississippi State. Is that still correct?
"There is one more, Louisville."

Have you set up an official visit with them?
"Yes sir, the weekend after I visit Mississippi State (that would be the weekend of Jan. 18-20)."

When will you visit Mississippi State?
"January 11th."

Have you officially visited Central Florida?
"I go there (Jan. 4)."

What have been your impressions of each school?
"The coaches have been really nice. I had a chance to go to South Carolina and look around and got to know their coaches and players a little better. I really liked it. All the players were like a big family there."

You mentioned South Carolina, what has impressed you about Central Florida?
"I don't really know much about Central Florida, but I feel they are on the verge of being near the top because they play a hard schedule each year. Plus, their quarterback situation is slim. I think they have one senior, who is the starter."

What do you like about Louisville?
"I don't know too much about them but I believe their quarterback, who is not a senior, may go to the NFL this year."

What do you like about Mississippi State?
"I like the coaches and my parents like the coaches. They seem like nice people. They will allow me to play baseball and football."

You just mentioned baseball, how important is it to you that you be allowed to play baseball in college?
"I am going to try and play both in college. It is pretty important that I play both. Louisville hasn't said much about baseball. I am going to go somewhere where they will let me play baseball."

When you officially visited South Carolina, what was the baseball aspect of the trip like?
"It was pretty impressive. I met Coach Tanner and talked to him for about an hour. He sounded real high on me. It was pretty nice."

How important is playing early for you? Or, do you prefer red-shirting your first year?
"I wouldn't mind red-shirting my first year. I just want a chance to play early."

What have the different teams said about your chances of playing early?
"Mississippi State has said I will probably red-shirt my first year, then come in and possibly be number two my freshman year. They said I would have a chance to play my sophomore, junior and senior years."

What has South Carolina told you about their quarterback situation?
"They said they are looking for a number three quarterback. They have a freshman and sophomore coming back."

Have you talked to any baseball coaches other than Coach Tanner?
"(MSU baseball coach) Ron Polk has called."

What did he say to you?
"He sounded like he was glad to have me come in on the 11th. I'm meeting with him the Sunday before I come back."

Thanks for your time, Justin.

Previous Justin Tyler article: Justin Tyler: 11/30/01


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 swindoll@genespage.com.


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