Football Walk-ons Brent Smith and Ty Freeman

[Premium article] Gene's Page interviewed Mississippi State football walk-ons Brent Smith, a place-kicker, and Ty Freeman, a wide receiver. Both young men transferred from Northwest (MS) CC in January.


First up, Brent Smith. Brent is from Byhalia, Mississippi.

Brent, I was told that you had several D-I offers but decided to walk-on at MSU instead of taking any of the offers.
"Yes sir, I had offers from Northwestern, West Virginia and Memphis."

What made you turn down those offers to walk-on at Mississippi State?
"They all are outstanding programs and coaches. West Virginia and Northwestern are pretty far away and pretty cold. That is not always the best conditions for a kicker. Northwestern kind of waited too late. My visit was the 11th of January and we started school at State on the 7th. Memphis didn't have the college atmosphere that I was looking for."

You mentioned that you didn't take your Northwestern visit. Did you take an official visit to either of the other two schools?
"I did to West Virginia and to Memphis."

Did the schools recruit you as a kicker or punter? I know you did both in college.
"West Virginia and Memphis were recruiting me as place-kickers and specifically as a pooch punter. Plus, they would let me decide if I wanted to try other punting. Northwestern was wide open for both. That was what they were looking for, someone who could do it all."

What are your plans at State?
"Whatever Coach wants me to do. I like kicking off and the field goal part. The punting was new to me. Last season was my first year to punt."

It doesn't bother you that MSU already has one kicker on the roster and two more coming in next season?
"I'm a junior, so I'm down to two years. I wanted to be close so that my family can watch me play. Competition makes everybody better. There is going to be an outstanding kicker on the field next season because of the competition. Somebody will rise up and do a fantastic job."

Did you grow up a fan of any particular school?
"Tennessee. I had a lot of relatives that were Tennessee fans. I started getting interested in State when I first went to juco. I knew Coach Sherrill's reputation with junior college players. It sparked a real interest."

You and Ty Freeman have played together for the last two years, so you know what kind of ball player he is. Tell me what you think about him as a player.
"Ty is a student of the game, for sure. He knows his stuff. He showed leadership on the field last year. He is a great possession guy. He doesn't drop passes."


Next up, Ty Freeman. Ty, whose dad, Steve, and older brother, Brad, played for MSU is from Oxford, Mississippi.

Why did you decide to walk-on at MSU?
"I have been to a lot of their games and I really like their football atmosphere. Their atmosphere is 10 times better than the football atmosphere at Ole Miss games."

Did other schools recruit you?
"A few like Arkansas State, UT-Chattanooga and UAB, but no big schools that I was really interested in."

How serious were they about you?
"They invited me in for a visit but I knew I wanted to come to State."

I've met your brother, Brad, and seen your dad. You are the tallest of the Freeman's aren't you?
"Yes sir, I am. I am about 6-4.5 and weigh 220 pounds."

Did you only play wide receiver in high school or did you play another position?
"I also played safety in high school."

What did you play at Northwest CC?
"Just slot receiver."

Tell me some of the things you are good at as a wide receiver.
"I don't drop many passes. I get open by running pretty, good routes."

With your size, has State talked about redshirting you, putting some weight on you and possibly moving you to tight end?
"I haven't talked to them about that. It would be good to be redshirted so that I could get bigger and faster."

I asked Brent to describe you as a player. How about describing Brent Smith as a player.
"He has great leg strength. Almost all of his kickoffs were touchbacks. He is good kicking from the grass."

Thanks for your time, Ty.


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 swindoll@genespage.com.

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