I understand MSU is recruiting you, is that correct?
"Yes it is."
I know you have been interviewed for Gene's Page before, but let's get an update on the basics. We have you listed as being 6-5, 310, is that right?
"Yeah, I went to the doctor today and I weighed 312."
And your 40 time?
And you are from Mandarin HS in Jacksonville, FL. What classification is that?
What kind of year did you have?
"Our team finished up 6 and 4. We didn't make the playoffs. Our program really is not football-oriented. I mean, we made the playoffs last year and we've only made the playoffs 2 times in our 15 years of existence. So we are pretty pleased to go 6 and 4. But I had a good year. I had to deal with some adversity when I broke my hand in the summer. I had to play with a soft cast on my hand and that limited me some with my ability to finish off a block. But I still had a good year. I lost some weight. I was 331 in the spring and dropped about 15 to 20 lbs and got a lot quicker, in my opinion."
Is that the weight you want to play at?
"Yeah, that's about right."
Did you guys get graded?
"No, we didn't."
So, do you keep track of pancake blocks or anything?
"Yeah, I had 62 pancake blocks."
62? What position did you play on the o-line?
"Well, for three years I have played tackle and this year I moved down to guard because our starting guard broke his hand, too. He was out for three or four weeks so I got moved down to strong guard and finished out the season there."
So even though you switched positions, you still had a good season?
"Yeah, and I like guard better than I do tackle."
"I'm more of a run blocker, to be honest. Guard is pretty simple; I mean, you either have someone on you or you don't. And you know, it's either get that guy or go to the linebacker. It's pretty much straight forward; just drive blocking."
Well, you know, good guards are hard to come by, too. So it may work out better for you in the long run.
"Yeah, that's true."
Are you projected as a guard in college?
"Yeah....I've talked to some teams that want to play me strictly at guard. But there are some teams who want to use me as a guard or tackle - and I don't mind playing either one."
Your team there - were you more of a running team or passing team?
"Oh, we were all run. We had a sophomore quarterback and he was still maturing. I would say we didn't have 400 yards passing this year. But we had a lot of yards rushing. We run what we call the Fly offense. It's a pretty crazy offense. Sometimes we just go with a straight wishbone."
What kind of recruiting interest are you receiving?
"From Mississippi State, a lot. I know Coach Tidwell - he is a graduate assistant at Mississippi State - and he used to coach for us my junior year. He went up to Mississippi State. His dad coaches at Florida State. Anyway, four or five coaches up there (at MSU) got fired, and I think he told me that he was going to be the new tight ends coach there. He has been down at our school and we have been talking, just catching up. We are pretty close and he is one of the best coaches I have ever had. And he told me I'm #1 on the board down there (at guard)."
So you certainly have a scholarship offer then?
"They were the first to offer me a scholarship way back in the spring."
Does that mean anything to you, that they were the first to offer you?
"Yeah, I'm real interested in them. They are tied for my top two, them and Georgia Tech."
So MSU and Georgia Tech are your top two?
"I'm very, very, highly interested in them. I have visits scheduled to both."
When are the visits?
"I'm coming to MSU on the 10th of Jan. and Georgia Tech on the 17th."
It sounds like those are the two big weekends?
"Yeah, everyone is getting down to the wire about then."
What other schools are looking at you the hardest?
"North Carolina State, Middle Tenn State and Tennessee."
I thought Coach Tompkins recruited Jacksonvill, Florida for Mississippi State?
"Yeah, I've talked to him. But it's just that me and Coach Tidwell have that personal relationship going. I mean, we talked even before he got the job. I talked to Coach Tompkins on the phone a lot and he has nothing but good things to say about what MSU has going on up there. I'm looking forward to my visits for sure."
I appreciate your time and I will probably call you back once you've taken your visit.
"That's fine. Thanks."
Brent Bozeman is a correspondent for Gene's Page. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .