Carroll Turning Out To Be Very Special

Rated only a two-star prospect coming out of high school by and four D-I offers in-hand, not many folks would have expected a great deal from Mississippi State true freshman quarterback Wes Carroll, especially early in his career.

But don't add MSU head coach Sylvester Croom among that group because the lack of a high rating and double digit scholarship offers had no effect on Croom's thoughts about Wesley Carroll.

"He is a winner," said Croom. "And a lot of our guys don't have a lot of offers. But that's because we look for certain things such as the intangibles. The intangible things of playing quarterback are very, very important to us - leadership, discipline, a knowledge of the game, the willingness to execute as instructed. And Wes has all of that."

While pure physical talent is easy to see on film, identifying whether a prospect has the necessary intangibles requires a great deal of time and effort.

"That's why you have to talk to the players, talk to their coaches, talk to his teammates," said Croom. "You ask (the prospect) different questions about the game so that you can see how he thinks. A lot of it comes from how he converses with you, how he talks about the game and the questions he asks.

"When Wes came on his visits, he asked football questions. Not necessarily about whether he was going to play, but about the game. He asked about the offense and he even talked about defenses. He talked about strategy. Most (prospects) want to know when are they going to play. Wes never asked that. He never asked about what was going to happen for him. All he wanted to know was would he be given an opportunity to play."

And he was given that opportunity as a true freshman. His response has been exceptional - seven starts against the likes of Auburn, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas and UAB. And four of those starts have ended with victories over Auburn, Kentucky, Alabama and UAB.

But according to Croom, what you see this year is just the tip of the iceberg of what you will see in the future.

"He's nowhere near as good as he is going to be," noted Croom. "He's at 54% completion rate right now. We have to get him up to 65%. We have to get his arm stronger. We have to get his feet better. He's got a lot more improvement to make.

"But the things that he needs to develop, he can get those through coaching and hard work. Those other things, based on my experience, you either have them or you don't. And Wes has them."

As for what Croom expects the next three years to be like with Wes guiding the team, it's music to the ears of any Bulldog fan.

"I think we can win a lot of football games with Wes at quarterback ... a lot of football games," said Croom.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by email at

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