As stated in the opening paragraph, Jamere Holland, ranked the 12th best wide receiver in the nation, talked recruiting with me. I also talked to his mother, Felincia Holland, about her thoughts on her son's recruitment.
When asked what schools she is more familiar with, she primarily talked about the three schools that have sent their track coaches in to talk with her and Jamere. No football coaches can take in-home visits as of now, but track coaches can. One coach, Mississippi State's Steve Dudley, had just visited with them earlier that day at the school. And he made quite an impression.
"I got a good impression of Mississippi State today (Tuesday)," said Felincia. "I met their track coach (Steve Dudley) at the school today."
She explained in detail what impressed her so much about Coach Dudley.
"We didn't just talk about sports, we talked about education," she said. "He let me know where (Jamere) needs to be (academically). And I've talked to a lot of (coaches) and no one has said that to me; things like what courses he needs, the (National) Clearinghouse. He even showed me the course paper matching it with his classes. I didn't know anything about the Clearinghouse until I talked to that track coach today. No one has ever explained that to me, no one. And coaches call here all the time."
To say she was surprised with the topics that Coach Dudley discussed would probably be classified as an understatement.
"I thought he would be somebody who told us how good his school was and that his school is the best school," said Felincia. "He never just said his school is the best. He didn't just pinpoint his school. He talked about Jamere, education and getting his degree. And he talked about kids from all over, which is good. He said, 'if you don't come to our school that's fine, but if you need help with anything, let me know and I'll help.' He was a pretty nice guy. He seems to really like the kids. And that is great. I liked him a lot."
She was also very impressed with Arizona's track coach.
"Arizona's track coach was here," said Felincia. "I liked their coach, too. He is a nice guy. Like Steve, he never said anything negative about any other school. I thought that was good. Something else that I liked about him was the fact that he explained a lot of things to (Jamere). He explained about their nutrition and that they have a curfew. I am really into them having a curfew. When they get there, they aren't going to let them run wild, they are going to have them working."
Oklahoma's track coach also had an in-home visit with them.
"Oklahoma has also come in," she said. "He was a nice guy."
Before you ask what's the big deal about track, Jamere's one of the top five 100 and 200 meter runners in the nation. Last year, he ran a 10.38 100 meters and a 20.88 200 meters. Both were the 5th best times in the nation. And he was only a junior when he ran them. And Felincia understands, better than anyone, the importance of track to her son.
"I think if a kid stays in track, they will be better in football," said Felincia. In fact, she said, "I like track better. I used to run track. I ran the 100 and 200 in junior high."
And she ran it very, very well.
"I ran a 11.7 in the 100 and in the 22-something range in the 200," said the mother of four.
Now that we know her feelings on track in the overall scheme of things, since her son is considering schools throughout the nation, how much of a factor will distance be from a mother's standpoint?
"The distance is not a problem for me at all," she quickly said. "I want him to go out and explore and become a man. It is so hard where I live. It is really, really hard for a kid where I live."
She also mentioned specific things she and Jamere will be looking for when it comes time to choose a college.
"I want him to go to school and get a degree," said Felincia. "I want him to become a man, to better himself as a man, a black man actually. Then he won't have to worry about anything."
While his mother talked about the importance of track and things to look for in a college, Jamere talked more about the football aspect of his recruiting.
The first thing I asked him about was what schools are calling him on a consistent basis.
"There are so many...Mississippi State, Ole Miss, USC, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Colorado," said the 17-year old. "I get so many phone calls, I can't remember them all."
He's also racked up the scholarship offers. In addition to Tennessee, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, LSU, Washington, Washington State, Arizona State, Ohio State and Oklahoma, Jamere's added two new offers since I talked to him on September 12th.
"Colorado and USC have now offered me," said the 6-1, 175-pounder.
When asked about his favorite schools, he has four at the top of his list.
"I have a top four: Florida, Arizona, Oregon and LSU," said Jamere.
He's also still very much interested in six other colleges.
"The others in my top 10 are Ohio State, Oregon State, Tennessee, Cal, USC and Mississippi State," he said.
As for official visits, those are still in the discussion stage.
"I haven't set up any (official visits)," said Jamere. "I take my (ACT/SAT) test next month, so I should be able to take my visits after that."
He explained what he will be looking for in a college.
"Basically, a school that's winning, throws the ball a lot and has a nice offense," said the speedy wide receiver. "But I have to fit in with the school."
Look for an additional update on Jamere in the next three or four weeks.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.