"Yes sir, I'm 6-5, 250 and run a 4.9."
What positions have you played in high school?
"Tight end and defensive end."
What are your strengths as a player, Derek?
"I think I excel at blocking and also running with the ball after the catch."
Are there things you feel you have to work on as player?
"Yes sir, my speed, strength and technique."
Speaking of strength, do you know what your bench press and squat are?
"Yes sir, my bench is 250. I haven't done a squat yet."
How did you do last year in terms of personal stats?
"I had 2 catches for 27 yards and a touchdown. I didn't play defensive end that much."
Do you have any personal or team goals for next year?
"Well, mostly to try and help the young guys out. I also want to try and make it back to the state championship (game)."
Have you met your new coach (Starkville HS hired a new head football coach, Ronnie Cuevas, recently)?
"Yes, I think he's going be a good coach. I talked to him, and he asked me what position I played. I told him mostly tight end and defensive end. He said 'well, you'll like this offense because tight end is my main weapon'."
What football camps, if any, did you attend last summer?
Do you plan on attending any camps this summer?
"Yes sir, the Nike Camp in College Station, Texas on Saturday, May 4th."
Did you attend any college football games last season?
"Yes, I went to most of Mississippi State's home games last year."
Have you attended any college Junior Days this spring?
"Yes sir, I went to Mississippi State."
What were your impressions of the school itself, the players, and its coaches?
"Well, I liked the campus as a whole and Mario Haggan, as both a person and a player, stands out to me."
Derek, did your parents attend college?
"My mother went Mary Holmes (in West Point, Mississippi)."
Have you had any brothers or sisters attend college?
Have you grown up a fan of any college football team?
"Yes sir, Tennessee because of their overall tradition."
Derek, what schools are sending you letters?
"Auburn, Tennessee and Ole Miss. That's about it."
Which schools are you most interested in at this time and why?
"Auburn, because I like the offense they run. Tennessee, because I like their defense. And Alabama because I like their offense and watching them play."
Is Alabama sending you letters?
Derek, I enjoyed chatting with you and look forward to talking with you again in the future. Thanks.
Other info on Derek
Charles Johnson is a recruiting correspondent for Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports and Mississippi High School sports on the internet.