"How are you doing." [Otis sounded really tired, almost like he had been sleeping. - Gene]
Man, you sound like you are tired.
"Yea, I am."
They wore you out this weekend?
"(Laugh) Yea, they did."
Do you have time to talk to me about your trip to Mississippi State?
When did you get to State?
"I got there about 4:30, Friday."
You got up there pretty early.
"We flew up there. Richard, Jerious, Willie Evans, Brett Morgan and me flew up there."
Didn't a guy named Bryson Davis fly with you guys?
"Yea, Bryson Davis also flew up there with us. He is a cool cat. He and I were together a lot."
I know you are committed to State and have been up there quite a few times. Did you learn anything new about State on your official visit?
"I really didn't learn anything knew, but the most impressive thing and the reason we have so many guys committed and coming is because they are so organized. A lot of people appreciate that.
"You can put this on your page. People at Mississippi State need to give Wes Slay the upmost credit and a lot of respect, because he did a tremendous job taking over for Coach Wilson." [When Coach Wilson left MSU to go to Georgia Tech, Wes, a graduate assistant who worked with Coach Wilson the past two years, took over the job of organizing the official visits. - Gene]
How did you know about Wes?
"Man, Wes is the most visible graduate assistant slash helper of anybody. He is just going to be there. Wes is going to make sure you are at the right place at the right time. He is doing a good job for Mississippi State as a graduate assistant. He is working hard to be a good graduate assistant. He is over all the official visits and this is a 25 to 26 year old guy. He is really smart. I cannot believe he has that much organization.
"As far as my visit, it was great. They kept us on the run. I had the chance to meet the department head of Educational Psychology. He was a nice guy. He appreciated athletes going into his field because it is a pretty tough field. He could tell by the way I talked and some of the things that I am doing that I am good enough to go into that field and succeed. He gave my mom and dad some things about what I was planning on doing. He kind of made everything plain. (MSU football academic advisor) Ms. Carr talked to us about some things. Ann is Ann. Everybody loves Ann. She is good at what she does. She is a people person and helps the players. We also got a chance to talk to the players to see what it was really like up there. Everything was very well planned."
What did your parents think about Mississippi State. I mean they are sending their baby boy (Otis is their youngest child) away to school up there. How do they feel about that after visiting Mississippi State this past weekend?
"My mom loves Mississippi State. It is like the perfect fit for our family, because it not that far away and she can easily come up there. The coaches are friendly and commit themselves to the players and they are available anytime. For me, as a player, there is no better opportunity, because you are playing for one of the greatest coaches in America; you are playing in one of the greatest conferences in America; and then you are playing at one of the greatest schools in America. Everything is falling in line. My dad doesn't say too much. You have to watch his body language. I could tell he really enjoyed himself, because they have five or six golf courses in the area."
Who did you hang out with while on your visit?
"Let me put it like this as far as other recruits. It was probably the greatest bunch, as far as recruiting class, to have at one particular time and place. Everybody clicked with everybody else. It is almost like we are already teammates. We respect each other. We had a good bond."
Who was your host?
"My host was Manual Dickson."
What did you think about him?
"Man, he and I almost hit it off like brothers. I'm serious. It just clicked. We just hit it off really well. I was with him and Darnell Jones, the fullback. Darnell was Bryson's (Davis) host. All of us rode together wherever we went. We just hit it off and relaxed and had fun. (Darnell and Manual) never put us in a negative environment. They answered our questions. They did everything they were supposed to do. I believe both of them are good players, but it made me feel extra good, because I also saw two guys with character. Character is defined by doing something good without people watching over you. They really did take care of us."
You haven't mentioned Tee Milons. What did you think about him? I've talked to him before and he appears to be kind of a quite guy.
"Nah, Tee Milons is not quiet (laugh). He was probably just acting crazy with you. He is a clown (laugh). He did little pranks to keep everybody loose."
I'm just curious, did the State coaches put pressure on the guys who haven't committed to commit this past weekend?
"No, not all all. They don't ask you to commit. Coach Sherrill is going to speak the truth to you. He brings you in the office and talks to you. He is not say come on and commit right now. He is not going to do something like that. He is going to tell you about your opportunity at Mississippi State. He is going to tell you the things that you can do to help the program. He will tell you about the graduation rates."
So all he talks about is Mississippi State?
"He doesn't talk about other schools. About the only time he will talk about another school is if he is comparing graduation rates. He doesn't talk negative about another school at all."
What is your impressions of Jerious Norwood and Darren Williams. You were around them for the entire weekend. Do you feel they will still be Bulldogs?
"They are best friends. You could tell that we are going to be teammates. It was just the way everything was blowing. It's kind of hard to explain. The type of flow and camaraderie that we had just fell into place. Everybody was talking. There was no dead moments. Everybody enjoyed everybody else. There was just great chemistry among everybody. There was a feeling among the players that we can be at the SEC championship in Atlanta in a year or so.
"I take my hat off to my future coaches because they did a remarkable job to get those guys who have that chemistry and the character to go along with it. There is not one guy among this recruiting class that doesn't have great character. All of the guys are good guys and want to succeed."
Well, I have really enjoyed talking to you, Otis. I know you received several calls while I was on the phone with you, so I had better get off so you can call them back. I really appreciate your time.
"No problem at all."
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.