I would like to talk to you about your recruitment. Do you have time to talk to me?
I've heard a rumor that you are officially visiting Mississippi State this weekend. Is that correct?
"Yes sir, I'm visiting this weekend."
How long has Mississippi State been recruiting you?
"They started talking to me a few weeks prior to the Christmas break."
Are they recruiting you as an offensive lineman or a defensive lineman?
"As an offensive lineman."
What other teams are showing interest in you?
"Kentucky, Troy State, and Southern Miss."
[I talked to his coach, David Wilkerson, after talking to Jared. He said that Memphis is also showing a lot of interest in Jared. - Gene]
Have you set up any official visits with any of the other schools?
"I have been to Troy State and I have an official visit set up with Kentucky the weekend of Feb. 1-3."
[His coach told me that Memphis and Southern Miss are also trying hard to set up visits with Jared as well even if they are mid-week visits. - Gene]
What position are the other schools recruiting you for?
"Troy State defense, Kentucky offense."
[His coach said that Southern Miss wants him for defense. - Gene]
Do you have a position preference?
"I don't really care."
Where did you play most of the time this past season?
"I played more offense because the coach needed me over there."
Was this the first year that you played much offense?
What position did you play?
What position did you play on defense?
"Three technique, defensive tackle last year and noseguard this past season."
Considering you have played a lot of defense, you must have pretty good guickness?
"Yes sir, I run a 5.0 forty. I have pretty good feet."
[His coach told me that he has great feet. - Gene]
Since you played mostly defense last year, what were your stats last season?
"I had about 50 to 60 tackles and 6 sacks."
Of the schools recruiting you, do you have a preference?
"I really don't know. My friend, Deljuan (Robinson), has just committed to (Mississippi State). I played against him back when I was in middle school. He didn't play linebacker back then. I stopped playing him in high school. I used to see him every weekend when I worked at the theater."
Did you play against any of the other guys who are considered top players in the state?
"I played against (New Albany's) Jay Kirkland. I felt that I was better than him. I had a better build and I am quicker. I played harder than him. I was just better than him, period, but that's just my opinion."
Did you play one-on-one against him?
"I didn't go against him much. They couldn't stop me. They had a huge line. They were big compared to me."
How are you doing academically?
"I should be eligible. I have my ACT, but need to work on my grades."
[I won't go into details about his grades, but Jared told me what his grade point average is and what he needed to do to get it to where he will be eligible. He seems to be on-track to qualify. He coach also said he is close but should qualify. In fact, Coach Wilkerson said quite a few colleges backed off of Jared because they thought he wouldn't be eligible, but they are now coming back on him now that it looks like he will qualify. - Gene]
Thanks for your time, Jared.
Here are a few comments about Jared from his head football coach, David Wilkerson.
"I coached (MSU O-lineman) Donald Tucker (from Tupelo) in high school, so I know (Jared) is good enough to play college ball. His arms are real long and he has great feet. He is a 5.1 forty. He moves real good. He wasn't highly recruited his junior year because his work ethic wasn't where it needed to be. Now, he is a very hard worker. In fact, I wouldn't let him not play hard. Jared is also a great kid.
"During the spring is when everyone started recruiting him. Ole Miss was on him hot and heavy, but they didn't think he would make it grade-wise. In fact, Ole Miss' John Latina (OM's offensive coordinator and offensive line coach) was all over him in the spring, because they saw him play in our spring game and really liked what they saw. Marshall was also all over him during the spring. But everybody was worried about his grades because he had bad grades early in high school. I really think he will qualify now.
"Southern Miss was nervous about his grades at first, but they are back on him again. They want him to play defense because he runs so well. Southern Miss, Memphis, Troy State and Mississippi State, those are the main ones right now. Coach Sherrill came up to the school and talked to Jared. Kentucky offered him early in the season, but things have changed up there. They are trying to get back in, though."
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.