Marshall High School Foursome Visit MSU

Mississippi State had four official visitors from Marshall (Missouri City, TX) High School this past weekend. Cornerback Marcus Washington, defensive end Brandon Cooper, offensive lineman/tight end Chris Herrera and offensive lineman Dimitri Lott officially visited Mississippi State this past weekend. Washington, Cooper and Herrera are MSU commitments, while Lott is a Texas Tech commitment.

Marcus Washington was impressed with what he saw during his visit.

"Overall, I really liked the visit," said the 5-10.5, 175-pounder. "I didn't get to see a lot of the campus, but I got to see all the football facilities. I really liked how everything was so new."

He also liked what he saw from the team after watching them defeat Murray State 38-6.

"I was surprised how much talent they have," said Washington. However, how well they played didn't surprise him. "It didn't really surprise me how they played because I knew, from talking to Coach Croom, what they were about."

Cooper was also pleased with his visit.

"It gave us a chance to see their football team play," he said, "and I liked what I saw. I liked the environment and the players. I know, for a fact, that I will be in an environment with a good group of guys that are behind you 100%. They have a lot of new things going on at Mississippi State that I really like. I don't think I can find another situation like what they have there."

He was also impressed with his recruiting coach, MSU defensive line coach Brick Haley, and MSU head coach Sylvester Croom.

"I was very impressed with Coach Haley and Coach Croom," said the 6-3.5, 240-pounder. "Coach Croom has a lot of smarts when it comes to football. He knows what it takes to win."

His player-host also was impressive, as was a second player that was with him a lot of the weekend.

"I hung out with (defensive tackle) Deljuan Robinson most of the time," said the defensive end. "(Defensive end) Willie Evans and I watched film together and talked about the difference between college ball and high school ball. He talked to me a great deal about what it will be like being away from home and how I need to prepare for what I'm about to embark on. They both gave me some good tips. And I'm know what they said wasn't just talk because I experienced it. You could tell what they were like by how they acted when they were around each other."

Now that he's visited State, what are his feelings about his commitment to them?

"I am pretty strong with my commitment to Mississippi State," said Cooper. "I've kept in contact with Coach Haley to see how they are doing. It's nice to hear what he has to say on the phone, but when I went out there and got a feel for it, I enjoyed it."

Brandon Cooper wasn't the only one that came away really impressed with Coach Croom. Chris Herrera also liked what he heard from Croom.

"I tell you what, Coach Croom can hold an interesting conversation," said Herrera. "The first day we got there, we talked to him for about 30 minutes. Today (Sunday), we talked to him for about an hour."

Like Washington and Cooper, Herrera was very impressed with the many things he saw while on the visit.

"I really liked it," said the 6-4, 270-pounder. "It felt just like home to me."

As for the facilities, he was impressed with several things.

"I liked the new weight room facility that they have. We saw the new dorms and liked that. I also liked their new 100-yard field facility (the Palmeiro Center) and the place that has the racquet ball courts (Sanderson Rec Center). It was beautiful."

Although Herrera's playing offensive tackle for his team this year, Mississippi State is actually recruiting him as a tight end.

"The first thing Coach Haley told me (when he started recruiting me) is that they are recruiting me as a tight end," said Herrera, who was hosted by MSU tight end Jason Husband during his visit.

He explained how he wound up at offensive tackle this season.

"I played tight end last year, but we've opened it up to a spread offense and my team needed me to play tackle because I have real good feet," said Herrera, who also kicks and punts for the football team and plays small forward on the Marshall HS basketball team. "All of our offensive linemen from last year are gone."

Herrera also mentioned why his teammates took their official visit to MSU so early in the football season.

"We played our game last Thursday, so that left Friday, Saturday and Sunday open," he said. "We are off Monday (for Labor Day), so we felt it was the perfect time. All the rest of our games this season are on either Friday or Saturday."

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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