When did you commit to State?
"Sunday night around 6:45."
I guess that is pretty exciting for you. It's kind of like a dream come true.
"It is real exciting. I have always liked Mississippi State even before my dad became a coach there. When he became a coach, it let me see how much of a team they really were. It really is a dream come true to become a Bulldog."
How did it come about that MSU got so serious about you?
"My dad made up a recruiter's type film. It showed me in all types of plays. He sent it off and it started hitting all the schools at about the same time. Schools like Ole Miss, Southern (Miss) and State got it. When State got it (the week of the Troy State game), I got a call from Coach (Glenn) Davis. He said he and the other coaches reviewed my tape and really liked the way I played. They said I have a mean streak and I'm really aggressive. They wanted me to come to the Troy State game and talk to them. I went to the game and talked to Coach (Jim) Tompkins and he said that they had reviewed my tape and that they were really interested in me. He told me to keep it up and they would keep in touch with me."
What were you thinking after he talked to you?
"I was thinking I need to keep it up and I hoped that they would offer me. I hoped they would show more interest in me. One of my goals was to go to Division-1. I also wanted to go to an SEC school.
"Coach Sherrill got in touch with my dad and told him that they really liked me but that I would have to play center. Sunday night, Coach Sherrill called me and told me that they would like to offer me a scholarship but that I would have to play center. I said, 'Coach, I would love to commit and be a Bulldog.'
When did you tell your dad that you had committed?
"I called him and told him that night. He was real happy. He said, 'congratulations, you are going to be in the SEC playing Division-1 football.' I said, 'Dad, you helped me out. You got me here. You taught me pretty much everything that I know.' Later that night, he had me up watching some old practice film when he was (at State) in 1997. He had me watching them so that he could teach me how to call the Mike linebacker and name the defensive fronts."
Have you ever played center?
"I haven't played in a game, but they have always had me as the backup center in practice because they knew I was capable of playing it."
I assume they will want to redshirt you your freshman year.
"I don't mind it. I plan on getting in the weight room and working my butt off. I talked to Coach Grant today and told him to be ready to work my butt off because I want to get in there and get bigger and stronger."
We discussed State calling you due to the tape. Have any of the other schools called you after seeing the tape?
"Yeah, Ole Miss called Coach (Danny) Carlisle. I think it was (Matt) Luke who called Coach Carlisle at the 9th grade game. Coach Carlisle got with me after they called and said for me to be in his room at 10 the next morning because we have to talk to Ole Miss. He called them and we got on the phone and talked to Coach Luke and their offensive line coach. The offensive line coach had reviewed my tape and really liked the way I played and wanted me to come to their game this weekend."
Thanks, Lance. And congratulations.
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.