COACH THORNTON INTERVIEW:
My name is Gene Swindoll. I have an unofficial Mississippi State sports website on the internet. I believe you have a player, Bryson Davis, who is officially visiting Mississippi State this weekend. Is that correct?
"That is correct."
Do you mind telling me a little about him as a player?
"He is everything you would want, physically. His forty speed is about 4.7. He has outstanding hands. He caught a lot of passes coming out of the backfield. We used him as a blocking back and catching the ball out in the flat. That is what Mississippi State wants him to do. Not many kids come around that are tailor-made for fullback, but he is one of those kids. He took a lot of pride in blocking, but he wants the ball too. He is like any kid in high school. He plays basketball and is averaging about 16 to 20 points per game. They went to the Metroplex the other day to play basketball and he had 40 points against a 5A school (the top classification in Texas). He is a great athlete. He has good grades."
What were his stats this past season?
"He had 752 yards on 111 carries. Our tailback had 1,803 yards. He wasn't our feature back, but still had almost 800 yards. He had 16 catches. He had 185 yards receiving. He had 10 touchdowns, 7 rushing and 3 catching."
How long has he started for you?
"He was a three-year starter for us."
Thank you for your time?
I talked to Bryson's mother, Marleta Davis, earlier Thursday night. Bryson was out at the time, and he was also expecting a call from Mississippi State assistant coach Craig Stump at 9:30, so she asked me to call him back around 10 p.m. She was very curious about what I did and also about what I did on the internet. From talking to her, it appeared that I was the first purely online recruiting person to talk to her and her son. They had received calls from folks connected with newspapers that had online versions of their newspapers, but was not a pure internet site like mine. This recruiting business is a new experience for her and she is very, very concerned about her son's well-being and wants only the best for him. I gladly explained what I did and we got along very well after she understood that I had nothing but good intentions toward her son.
BRYSON DAVIS INTERVIEW:
Bryson, this is Gene Swindoll. Did your mother tell you that I was going to call you back?
"Yes sir, she did."
I just want to talk to you about recruiting. I guess the first question is your actual size. What is your actual height and weight and forty speed?
"I am 6-3 and about 260. I run in the high 4.6 range."
You are a really big fullback.
"I was bigger than all the linemen (on my team) other than one."
How did you wind up at fullback at that size?
"Well, I am one of the fastest on the team and have been playing the tailback and fullback position all my life."
How long have you been playing fullback?
"I played tailback up until my 1st year on varsity, my sophomore year, then I started playing fullback."
When did you become a starter?
"I started half the games my sophomore year. My junior and senior years, I started all the games."
You coach told me you have great hands. In fact, that is one of the things that he feels sets you apart from other fullbacks.
"Yes, I feel I have pretty good hands. I guess because they are so big. I've had good hands all my life. God blessed me with some hands."
Speaking of good hands, you also play basketball, don't you?
Can you dunk the ball?
"Yes sir, since the 8th grade."
How tall were you in the 8th grade?
"In the 8th grade I was about 6 foot tall."
Your coach said you were averaging between 16 and 20 points per game. Is that correct?
"I'm averaging 21.3 points per game and 9.8 rebounds a game."
Are any teams looking at you as a basketball player?
"Probably not, because I play post and I'm only 6-3."
What is your squat and bench?
"I squat around 500 and bench about 325 to 330."
Getting into the recruiting portion of our conversation, when did Mississippi State start calling you?
"I think it was right after our last game. I believe it was in November."
What schools, other than Mississippi State, are recruiting you?
"UTEP and ACU (Abilene Christian University) are and Baylor was."
So, you are being actively recruited by Mississippi State, UTEP and ACU now?
What schools are you going to officially visit?
"Those three schools. I visit Mississippi State this weekend, then Abilene Christian the next week, then UTEP after that."
Are you flying to Mississippi State?
What time do you leave Texas?
"I've leaving at 11:20 (am)."
Have you ever been to Mississippi before?
What are you looking forward to about the trip to Mississippi State?
"I'm just looking forward to seeing the campus, environment, interacting with the students, coaches and players. And getting a good feel of the university. I'm also looking forward to learning about the academics."
What are you going to major in?
Are you leaning to any school at this time?
"I am probably leaning to Mississippi State."
Why are you leaning to Mississippi State?
"I just really like the program and I think I probably fit in with the environment."
Do you know much about Mississippi State?
"I know a little bit about them. I've seen them on television and have read about them in magazines. I've seen a lot about them on (ESPN) Sports Center. They had a really good season the year before last."
What do you think about the coach -- Coach Stump -- that is recruiting you for Mississippi State?
"I really think a lot of him. We played in a basketball tournament and he came all the way there to see me play. That made me think that they really do see something in me."
Do you plan on taking all three of your visits prior to deciding who you will commit to?
"I don't know. I probably will."
Have all three schools offered you a scholarship?
"Yes sir, they have."
What did Coach Stump say that Mississippi State liked about you?
"He said my hands. He also said he saw some film where I laid this dude out. He said I can block and hit. I guess he just likes my style of football."
If you could describe yourself, what kind of football player are you?
"I give it 110% everytime I run a play. It doesn't matter if the ball is going to me or not. I don't stop until the whistle is blown."
Has it been fun going through the recruiting process?
"Yes sir, it has been fun. Some guys, like one of the tailbacks on the team, was telling me it has been stressful to him. He is real down because he doesn't know what to do. I pray to God and ask Him for directions and guidance in helping me make the right decision for me. Without Him, I wouldn't even be getting calls (from D-I schools). I am very humble and grateful for it. This is a big decision, it is one of the biggest decisions in my life."
Thanks for your time, Bryson. Whatever decision you make, I wish you the best.
"Yes sir, thank 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.