[Premium article] Sam Olajubutu, Jr. (5-10, 205, 4.5) was selected as the Georgia 3A Defensive Player of the Year and was also a consensus first-team All-State selection. He made 170 tackles, including 25 tackles behind the line of scrimmage this year for Lagrange High School. The last time I talked to Same, he had Mississippi State and Arkansas as the two schools he is leaning to. Here is my interview with him about his visit to Mississippi State this past weekend.

When did you get to Starkville for your official visit to Mississippi State this past weekend?
"I got there at about 3 p.m. I flew in."

Was that your first time to fly?
"Yes sir."

It was? Was it kind of scary for you?
"Yes (laugh), a little bit."

What happened after you got to Starkville?
"When I got in, we checked in at the hotel. We then went and talked to Coach Sherrill."

Was that the first time that you got to meet him?
"Yes sir."

What was your impression of him?
"He went over what my life would be like for the next four years. He talked about the graduation rate. They have the highest in the SEC, I think, for African-Americans."

What did you do after that?
"We ate after that, then I went with my host, Curtis Stowers."

What was your impression of him?
"He was real cool and showed me around. He showed me a good time."

Talk about how your Saturday went?
"We got up the next morning, ate breakfast, then went to the academic meetings. I talked to a professor in the Engineering department. I liked that the classes won't be so big and that we will get individual attention from the professors."

After eating lunch, did they take you guys directly to the basketball game?
"Yea, we then went to the game."

[Sam got a call from MSU coach Jim Tompkins at this point. Coach Tompkins was calling to make sure that Sam got home ok.-Gene]

At that point, I decided to ask Sam how his flight home was. Since you were now an experienced flyer, was your flight home easier than your flight in?
"When I went I wasn't that scared. When I was on my way back (laugh) I got a little scared. It was windy but it was night time too."

What did you think about the game?
"I liked the atmosphere of the game. I liked the fans. They have a lot of fans."

I know recruits a lot of times try to act cool by not showing their emotions while watching basketball games during their visits, but that was some kind of a game. Did you ever get excited during the game?
"I got up (laugh) and I did get excited during the game a little bit. Emanual (Valcourt), the dude from a California junior college, and I did."

[Sam, at this time, received his fourth call while I was on the phone with him.-Gene]

You have just won an award, the most times people have called while I was talking to a recruit (laugh).

I feel like I am talking to the president (laugh).

Are you receiving calls from coaches, recruiting people or friends?
"Just friends."

Man, you are popular. Were you elected most popular at your school?

Who did you hang out with while you were at Mississippi State?
"Wayne (Hardy), Emanuel (Valcourt), Ken (Bournes) and Jamal (Pittman). They were good people and talked to you straight. They were real nice people."

Did you get to meet many of the Mississippi State players?
"I got to meet Dontae Walker, Ray Ray (Bivines), Mario Haggan and Pig Prather."

What was your impression of Starkville?
"It is a quite town, a little bit like Lagrange. It felt like home a little bit."

You've said before that you were being recruited by Jim Tompkins, did you get to know Jim Tompkins a little better while you were on your visit?
"Yes sir, him and the DB coach (Melvin Smith). He was a good fellow. He was smart and knew what he was talking about."

Another recruit told me that you guys ate in the stadium's club level lounge Saturday night. What was your impression of it?
"I've seen something like it at the University of Georgia when I went to their spring game. I liked it. They had a big-screen tv and showed a highlight film of everybody."

Off the top of your head, what two things really stood out about the trip?
"Probably, the building where the coaches' offices are. It really looked good. The scenic few of the lake outside of it was really impression. We ate a lot too (laugh)."

How did your impression of State change after this weekend?
"It moved them up a little bit, because I know a little bit more about them, now. I like them."

When do you visit Arkansas?
"On the 25th."

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me, Sam.

Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at

Gene's Page Top Stories