Unofficially Visits Mississippi State

Coffeeville (MS) High School's outstanding running back Lee Chambers unofficially visited Mississippi State Saturday and came away impressed.

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"It was really great. When we first started off, (MSU assistant) Coach (J.B.) Grimes showed me around the campus," said the First Team All-Area and First Team All-Region selection. "He showed me the new dorms that are being built for the football players. They looked like top of the line dorms. He took me all around campus showing me things like the weight room. He then took me to (Head) Coach (Sylvester) Croom's office and that is when it started to sparkle ... when Coach Croom started to tell me about the offense, how he did it in the NFL. He even said I was like the Barry Sanders type running backs. That kind of touched my heart - comparing me to one of the great ones.

"Before practice, when the players were stretching, Coach Croom called me over to show me the practice script. Their style of offense is the type of system I fit in. The way I look at it, with the system they run, if I sign with them and work hard over the summer I feel like I could come in and play as a true freshman and maybe even start."

What was his impression of the Mississippi State practice?

"The practice was great," said Lee. "And what really made me feel great was when (MSU senior WR) Omarr Conner was stretching and all the time he was looking at me and I was looking at him. Then, he came up to me and asked me where I was from. I told him Coffeeville. He asked me what I played and I told him running back. He asked me if I was thinking about coming (to Mississippi State). I told him yeah. And he told me that I need to go ahead and come because it's a great place."

Did he take Omarr up on his offer?

"I didn't commit, but I really loved it," said the 6-0, 191-pounder. "Mississippi State moves up in my interest every week. My interest in them gets higher and higher every week. I feel that Mississippi State is the place for me, but I don't want to put myself in that bind of making an early commitment. I want to see what else is out there because I could be wrong. I haven't been on but three (unofficial) visits. There may be a place I like better."

Did Coach Croom talk to him about committing?

"He brought it up, but that's one thing about him - he didn't pressure me," said Lee. "Committing wasn't that big of a factor to him. He wasn't trying to pressure me into committing right then and there. What college you go to is going to be a big factor in your life. They are going to be with you for the rest of your life."

He mentioned earlier that he has visited three schools. What schools were they?

"I've been to Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama," he said. "And I'm going to South Carolina's football camp (this summer)."

Was there anything that stood out about any of the three schools that he visited?

"All the other schools that I went to, I didn't have football players come up to me laughing and talking like Mississippi State's did," Lee noted. "When I was at Mississippi State's practice, players came up to me talking about how great it is down there and how easy it becomes your home. When one of (the) star players like Omarr Conner comes up to you, that's a big plus right there. He treated me like he had been knowing me for a while, like I was already a Mississippi State football player."

Obviously the Mississippi State coaches want him to be a Bulldog because they've given him a scholarship offer. What schools have offered?

"I have offers from South Carolina, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama," said the likeable youngster. "South Carolina was the first one. Then Ole Miss and then Mississippi State. Alabama just recently offered this week."

Does he have a list of favorites, and if so, what does he like about each one?

"Mississippi State is my top college right now," he said. "I love everything about Mississippi State ... the atmosphere and everything.

"I haven't been to South Carolina, but by the pictures that (assistant) Coach (Robert) Gillespie sends me I can tell that they have great facilities. I have a real good relationship with him. And he's their running backs coach and it's great for you to have a relationship with your position coach."

"I like Alabama's winning tradition. They are known for their national championships and SEC championships. A lot of players from the NFL come from Alabama, too."

"I also like Georgia Tech. They have great coaches there. They've just recently sent the letter for (Coffeeville head) Coach (David) Baughman to send my film to them."

Will Mississippi State eventually win out for this tremendously talented youngster or will a new school compete with them for his signature? Stay tuned on to find out.

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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