Rodney Prince Hearing From Mississippi State

Mississippi State head football coach Sylvester Croom loves his defensive linemen quick and fast. And Shades Valley High School defensive end Rodney Prince fits that description to a tee. Rodney talked about his recruitment and his feelings about Mississippi State, a school that has offered him a scholarship.

Rodney Prince Profile

Rodney Prince used his speed and quickness to record 120 tackles, 10 sacks and 5 pass deflections last season. And several schools have taken notice.

"Mississippi State, Troy and Southern Miss have offered scholarships," said the 6-3, 230-pounder.

He also thinks a few other schools are close to offering.

"I think UAB and Memphis will offer," said Prince. "And I think Clemson will. I also think Arkansas is pretty close, too. I think Ole Miss will offer me, because, when I went to their camp, I did pretty good. Their coaches told me that I will be hearing from them. They can't call me until September, but they are sending me letters on a weekly basis."

Prince, who has camped at Alabama, MSU and Ole Miss and has two more camps that he plans on attending - UAB and Auburn, explained how Mississippi State became interested in him.

"(MSU assistant coach) Freddie Kitchens came down to our school to see me and a couple of other guys (during the spring evaluation period)," he said. "He told our coach that he liked what I was doing and wanted me to come to their camp."

As a followup to that, Coach Kitchens used his one spring evaluation period phone call to Prince a few days later.

"He had one phone call and during his call he said that they saw my tape and he and Coach Croom and the rest of the staff liked it pretty good," said Prince. "He said if I came to their camp and showed good speed and did some pretty good things, then they would offer me. I got to their camp and did pretty good and they offered me."

While he received the written offer a couple of days after the camp, he actually received the verbal offer just a few hours after the camp ended.

"I went to their camp on Sunday and got the letter on Tuesday," said Prince. "I had called Coach Kitchens back the same night (Sunday) and he gave me a verbal offer over the phone. Then, they sent the handwritten offer Tuesday."

Prince talked about his impressions of the MSU coaching staff after meeting them at the camp.

"I met the entire staff at the camp," he said. "My father and I got to talk to Coach Croom. I talked to Coach Kitchens when I got there. I talked to Coach Beamer. I worked with and talked to Coach Haley. I definitely liked the coaching staff and their attitude."

He mentioned some things that Coach Croom told him about what he expects from his players.

"(Coach Croom) told us how he will have a very disciplined team," explained Prince. "He said we would be prepared for every aspect of the game and be in great shape. He also told us everything is not about football, but about life and turning us into good, young men. One thing that Coach Croom stressed was that he not only wants good athletes, but people who do good in their classwork and people who are good in the neighborhood."

Prince was so impressed that he and his dad called Coach Croom on his cell phone a little later.

"I got Coach Croom's cell phone number because (the coaches) can only call us once," said Prince. "Me and my father called and talked to him. My dad loved the guy. He knew a little about him from Green Bay and he watched him play for Alabama, but he didn't know him personally."

Obviously, offering a scholarship is a huge sign that a school is very much interested in a player. What did the MSU coaches say they liked about him?

"I think they really like my speed coming off the defensive end spot," explained Prince. "A lot of coaches say I have a really good fast twitch, which means I come off the ball very quick and get that straight line speed really fast."

After talking to Coach Croom and his staff, does he feel that they will turn the Mississippi State program around?

"I have no doubt in my mind that they will turn it around fairly quickly," he said. "All it's going to take is time to get the recruits that they want to bring in, then I think everything will turn around."

When asked what schools he is most interested in, Prince named five.

"My top five schools are Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Clemson and, probably, Southern Miss," he said.

However, he's not ready to commit to any school just yet.

"I want to wait a little while longer before I commit, probably three or four games into the season," explained Prince. "I kind of want a chance to take a good number of my official visits. I still want to experience what the different places are like."

One school that Prince mentioned several times during my interview with him was Auburn. I got the impression that they are a school that he is very much interested in. So I asked him if he grew up a fan of Auburn and if they are showing much interest in him?

"Yes sir," said Prince to the first part of my question. As to the second part of the question, he said, "they are showing me a little bit of interest. My dad has talked to one of their coaches on the phone. He said one reason that I haven't received as much stuff as I probably should is due to an incorrect address that they had. He said they got it corrected last week."

Keep it right here to read the latest on this outstanding defensive end.

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

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