Johnny Carpenter Commits to Mississippi State

Johnny Carpenter, a 6-3, 290-pound offensive lineman who played for Citronelle (AL) High School, commits to Mississippi State.

Johnny Carpenter Profile

Carpenter, along with two other linemen, was up for the 5A Lineman of the Year award in the state of Alabama. Sadly for Carpenter, another player won it, a player he had previously faced and played well against.

"(Mobile-Williamson's) Antonio Coleman beat me," a clearly disappointed Carpenter said. "I like being number one. I know it was an honor to be there, but our team beat them and I smashed him all night, so I figured I had a better chance."

Although the news at the Wednesday morning awards banquet wasn't what he wanted to hear, he still had good news to tell me: he committed to Mississippi State. Although he was trying to keep it quiet for another week or two - he even swore me to secrecy during my last interview with him - things don't always work out as planned.

"I had told a few people, but my coach asked me if I wanted to make it public. I told him I did so he went ahead and told the press."

Why was he planning on holding off instead of just going ahead and making it public as soon as he committed to the MSU coaching staff?

"I think a few big commitments were going to come later and I was going to sort of wait on them, but I'm still expecting them to."

What led to him making his commitment to MSU?

"My father and I had been talking about it and he said, 'son, if that's where you want to go, it's up to you because you have to spend the next four years there.' And I felt in my heart that was where I wanted to go. (MSU assistant) Coach Kitchens came down and I informed him. I told him I wasn't going to make it verbal for a week or two. But, I decided to go ahead and make it verbal."

Why State?

"(State) is like a home away from home. I love Coach Croom. I loved Alabama and he coached there for 11 years. And he played under (Bear) Bryant and was an All-American. Croom is just a great guy. I believe they are going to have a shot at an SEC and possibly a national championship due to the recruits they are after."

Although State will now be his only official visit, what other schools still would like to see him come in for visits?

"Southern Miss does, but I sort of cut it off tonight (Thursday). I went ahead and let Assistant Head Coach Randy Butler know because he is my recruiting coach. I let him know that State is where I want to go. Rick Trickett, from West Virginia, was wanting me to set up one. The coach from UAB, Randy Ross, also does. Ole Miss' head athletic director wanted to set up one toward the end of January."

What did they say after he told them that he is headed to Mississippi State?

"They all said that was good, but they all, basically, said that if we can get you on campus, we have a better shot of getting you."

Now that he has committed, what are his thoughts about the recruiting process itself?

"I loved the coaches calling me at first, but after a while it became a normal thing, then it sort of wore down a little bit."

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Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by email at

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