Carroll: Talks About His Official MSU Visit

St. Thomas Aquinas High School quarterback Wes Carroll, one of the top quarterbacks in the state of Florida, talked about his official visit to Mississippi State this past weekend, his thoughts about the MSU football program in general, his overall recruitment and how his high school team's season is going.

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As for his current team, he's happy with their progress, especially considering how many talented players were lost from last year's team.

"Our season is going pretty well. We had a bye week this week, then we play Ely in the first round of the playoffs," said Wes, who has helped lead his team to a 9-1 record. "We are playing real well. We are finally playing hardnose St. Thomas Aquinas High School. At times, we (have even) played better than we did last year. We have no reasons why we can't go back to State."

Playing well is an understatement. His team has scored 356 points while allowing 107.

As for Wes himself, despite not playing in a number of second halves due to blowouts, he's thrown for over 1,000 yards and 16 touchdowns while throwing just 2 interceptions, all on just 120-something passing attempts. For good measure, he's also rushed for over 200 yards.

Basically, he's playing a Wes Carroll standard of ball, the kind of ball that led to the Mississippi State coaching staff placing such a high priority on signing him when the February, 2007 signing day rolls around.

Wes took his official visit to MSU this past weekend with his mom.

"It was a lot of fun. My mom went with me. My dad had gone with me during the spring," said Wes, who mentioned that his parents are 100% behind whatever decision he makes. "(MSU starting QB) Mike Henig was my host. When we were around him and the coaches, she was pleased with how they treated him with such respect and how they were buddies and friends. That's how it was at Mississippi State and most other southern schools. It's like a big family. That's very important. You want to feel special."

Part of him feeling so special is also due to the Mississippi State coaching staff and his relationship with them.

"I know (Mississippi State offensive coordinator) Woody (McCorvey) so well because I've talked to him for so long," said Wes about the coach recruiting him for MSU. "And (MSU head) Coach (Sylvester) Croom, I feel like I'm close to him. And some of the other coaches. It's a good feeling to be so well liked and be so well pursued."

While on his visit, he was able to watch Mississippi State in action versus Kentucky. Despite the close loss, he saw a lot of positives.

"In their game, the offense scored 31 points, Mike (Henig) threw for 384 (yards). (But) their defense is in kind of a slump right now. But they are so close," said Wes. "They are right there. They hung in the game with Georgia, 24-27.

"I think next year their team is going to be real strong. They have so much talent and so many young guys coming back. If they get a couple of loose ends tied up, they will be fine. I may sound more like a coach, but I would say to their fans to have high aspirations for next year and the next couple of years. Next year will pretty much be all Coach Croom's guys. They are guys that have been through his system for a couple of years."

Being the offensive player he is, he paid a great deal of attention to the MSU offense. What thoughts did he come away with?

"Tony Burks, all my God, he's phenomenal. He's a great player," said Wes. "Will Prosser is a good possession receiver. They have a lot of talent coming back, except for Will who is a senior. Mike is coming back. Pretty much the whole O-line is coming back. Their backfield...everybody on offense, primarily."

While he sees hope for the immediate future of Mississippi State, he also understands that the program has been in a tailspin for several years.

"I knew I had to keep an open mind. That was bottom line from the start," said Wes. "Knowing that they haven't been winning ... but they are right there. And I can see why. I watched their first game of the season when they lost 15-0 (to South Carolina). The beginning of the year, their running game was kind of working and their defense was clicking. Now, it has kind of flip-flopped. Now, their (passing) offense is clicking and the other two aren't.

"As soon as they get it together, they are going to be a contender for the SEC. When I think of the SEC, I think of hardnose football players, athletes, rugged guys. Mississippi State has all of that. I honestly believe that."

He's played his high school career for one of Florida's powerhouses. He understands the ingredients that go into building a successful program. He pointed out one aspect that he feels may be lacking with this current MSU team due to its youth and inexperience.

"I don't want to step on anybody's toes, but lack of leadership," said Wes. "They kind of lack that this year due to all the young guys on the team. Next year, they won't (lack) that. Mike (Henig) is a very good leader when he's on the field. Next year, when he's healthy, he will be able to do a great job with that. Their receivers will be leaders. Their offensive line will finally be fully developed. So, they are going to have leaders all over the field next year. "

Wes has mentioned Mike Henig numerous times. Both, obviously, play the same position. And Mike is only a sophomore this year. Will the fact that he has two more years to play factor into Wes' decision about MSU?

"It doesn't affect me. It's not going to make or break my decision," noted Wes. "If I should be second string and not have to play, I could redshirt if it's the best thing for the team. I would have more time to learn the system, be in the weight room more and building up the chemistry with the team. That would help the team. But if I was put in the situation where Mike and Tray (Rutland) got injured and I needed to play, obviously I would play to help the team."

Mississippi State is just one of several teams vying for his signature. Has he set up any other official visits?

"I haven't any others set. We just got lucky that we were able to do this one. We will worry about that after the season," explained Wes.

What schools is he most interested in at this point?

"I would probably say Mississippi State, NC State, South Carolina, Louisville, Memphis, Nebraska and Rutgers. But in no way am I narrowing it down," said Wes. "Any school that has interest in me, I have interest in them. So, at this point, anybody that is sending me letters and still calling me are fair game. Any schools that I have always liked and have interest in, they are also fair game even if they haven't talked to me as much as others."

Keep it on to stay up-to-date on the latest recruiting news about this very talented young quarterback.

Check out video of Wes from the 2005 season.


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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