70-year old Mike Byrnes, Co-Meet Director of the Nike Indoor Classic and long-time track enthusiast, wrote that, "Tonight I saw a young man who may be the next great American sprinter. His name is Willie Hordge. He attends Forest Brook HS in Houston."
Former World Record holder Leroy Burrell said that, "He's got the most talent of anybody out there. Did you see the middle of his race? For pure speed he's far and away the best kid I've seen."
And that's just track. He is also considered one of the top football players in Texas and possibly the nation. Read on.
Willie, what is your height, weight and forty speed?
"5-11, 185 and my forty is 4.2."
What is the fastest that you have run the forty in?
"I think about a 4.1."
You are not only a very good football player, you are pretty good at track, aren't you?
I saw your picture on the cover of Track and Field. What was that for?
"That was the World Junior (Championship) team. We had just broken the (4x100 meters) record in Kingston, Jamaica."
What was your relay team's time in the 4x1?
"I believe 38 (seconds)."
You must really be fast. What is your 100 meters time?
That is really fast. Is that the fastest you have run it?
"No sir. I have run it in 10.08."
What honors have you won in track during your high school career?
You earned All-American after your junior year?
"No sir, my 10th grade year.
"I also won State two times in a row."
When you say you won State, was that in the 100 meters?
"I won State overall and in the 100 meters. We broke the state record in the 4x1 in high school and we hold the national record in the 4x1 in high school track."
What track honors did you earn after your junior season?
"I got All-American in the 100, 200, 4x1 and 4x4."
What kind of honors have you won in football?
"First-team All-District wide receiver and I was nominated for All-District this year also. They are keeping up with my stats this year for that."
How is your team doing this season?
"We are doing pretty good. We have three games left then the playoffs."
How are you doing individually?
"I am doing good. I'm averaging about 1 or 2 touchdowns a game."
Switching to recruiting, what schools are recruiting you besides Mississippi State?
"Tennessee, Alabama, Florida State....Georgia Tech, Stanford....I can't remember them all."
Are all those schools recruiting you for both football and track or just one sport?
"Football and track."
Have you set up your five official visits?
"I know that I'm supposed to be coming down (to Mississippi State) on the 15th of November. I'll be going to Alabama on November 22nd and to Tennessee on December 14th."
Do you have an idea who the other two schools might be?
"No, not yet."
What position are schools recruiting you for in football?
"Wide receiver and cornerback."
What position do you prefer playing?
"It doesn't matter, receiver or cornerback."
What position is Mississippi State recruiting you for?
"DB, I think."
I'm curious. When did Mississippi State get in the picture with you?
"It was about three weeks ago. (The MSU track coach) came and talked to me. I read about them in the paper. I didn't know Mississippi State had a good track team until I saw the book."
What is your impression of State, so far?
"The track team.....and their football team is good, too. They just have to regroup. They have a lot of young people."
What factors will determine what school you will sign with? Obviously track will play a very important role. What else will play an important role?
"A good academic program. And (that) they have good football and track teams."
What are you going to major in?
"I am going to major in Business Management."
Thanks for talking with me, Willie.
[Willie, who is a very courteous young man, is a good student who should have no problem qualifying.-Gene]
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports and Mississippi high school sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.