What is your actual height, weight and forty speed?
"6-3, 310, 5.2."
Do you play offensive guard or tackle?
"I play tackle, sir."
How long have you been a starter for your school?
"This will be my second year."
Did you transfer in from another school? If so, did you start there and for how many years?
"Yes, I transferred. I started since my freshman year there."
What would you consider your strengths as an offensive lineman?
"I am a very aggressive run-blocker. I like to play the run-block a lot."
What things do you feel you need to improve as an offensive lineman?
"In the offense we are in now I don't get to do a lot of pass-blocking. We run a Wing-T."
That can be learned. Don't underestimate the value of knowing how to be a good run-blocker.
"Are you familiar with the Southern Miss quarterback Dustin Almond?"
Yeah, Mississippi State recruited him.
"Yeah, I played with him. When I was at Orange Park with him my strong point was pass-blocking. Then I came here and I had to re-adjust my game so I could get my run-blocking stronger."
So actually you have the best of both worlds. You pass-blocked for two years and run-blocked for two years.
Switching over to recruiting. What colleges are presently calling you?
"South Florida, Syracuse, Southern Miss, UCF (Central Florida), Mississippi State and Middle Tennessee State."
Are the schools calling you pretty much every week?
"Yeah, pretty much all of them call on a consistent basis."
What schools are showing the most interest right now?
"Right now, I have a offer from South Florida. Syracuse is showing real strong interest but haven't offered yet. Southern Miss is also showing strong interest. I also have an official visit set up with Mississippi State on January 17th."
Have you set up any other official visits?
"Just South Florida on January 10th. I have a pretty good instinct that I'm going to get a visit from Southern Miss because the recruiting coach was talking to me about how the head coach doesn't make any offers over the phone. He said I'll just wait until you come down here on your visit."
Since you have set up an official visit with MSU, you obviously must be pretty interested in them. What is it that you like about them?
"I know that they are not doing too good right now but I have watched them for a while. I've always wanted to play in the SEC because that is pretty much the dominate conference in college football."
I believe coach Jim Tompkins recruits your area. Have you talked to him much?
"Yes, he has called me about every week since the season started."
What is your impressions of him?
"He seems like a nice, well-rounded guy. He seems to care about the interests of his players. From what I get through how he talks to me, he seems to want what is best for me whether I come to MSU or go to another school. He seems to be a really cool guy, although I can't say too much since I haven't met him."
Have you thought about what you will major in when you get to college?
"Right now, I'm not really sure, although I am leaning to a couple of things, Business Administration and Computer Engineering."
[Rashid Lavergne is a pretty good student who is very well-spoken and articulate.-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 email@example.com.