Royce Blackledge Recruiting Update

[Premium Article] Gene's Page recently interviewed offensive lineman Royce Blackledge (6-4, 270, 5.0) of Northeast Jones High School (Laurel, MS). Royce, who turns 18 years old in May, recently committed to Mississippi State.

What schools are calling you, Royce?
"Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Mississippi State, Auburn, Alabama, LSU a little bit, Memphis, Marshall and West Virginia."

What schools have come in for in-home visits? When I say in-home visits, I'm not just talking about coming into your home but coming into your school for a visit with you.
"The West Virginia coach, Coach Trickett, Memphis, Alabama, LSU, Marshall, Auburn, Ole Miss and Southern. Curley Hallman (of MSU) has come down."

What schools other than Mississippi State have offered you a scholarship?
"Memphis, West Virginia, Ole Miss and Southern."

I know you officially visited Mississippi State. Are you going to set up any official visits with any of the other schools that are showing interest in you?
"No, after I went to Mississippi State that was pretty much all I needed to see. That was where I wanted to go anyway. After I went there that pretty much put the icing on the cake."

So, you have grown up a State fan?
"Oh yeah."

Back to the official visits question. It sounds like you don't plan on taking any other official visits.

What other schools were talking to you about taking an official visit?
"Pretty much all of the ones that I told you about earlier; West Virginia, Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss and Southern Miss. They all wanted me to come and visit."

Have you told the other schools that you aren't interested in visiting?
"Yeah, I've already told them that I'm firmed with Mississippi State and that's where I'm going."

What is your height, weight and forty speed?
"I'm 6-4 and I weigh 270 and my forty is 4.9 to 5.0."

That is outstanding speed for your size. Do you also play defense?
"Yeah, I play defensive line and a little bit at defensive end and offensive line."

What position are colleges recruiting you for?
"All the film I've sent I've played both ways on the ball, so with my size they can play me wherever they want to. When I talked to (MSU assistant) coach (Terry) Lewis, he said probably somewhere inside the offensive line, a guard or center."

I'm curious, what was your size last year?
"I've probably put on 30 pounds this summer. I worked out hard and ran a lot. I've grown about an inch and a half the last year. And I'm just 17 years old."

When do you turn 18?
"In May."

You are a young senior. Considering your size, speed and age, you have a lot of potential.
"That's one thing that Coach Hallman thought stood out about me."

I don't want to take too much of your time. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me.
"Alright, thank you."

Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports and Mississippi high school sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at

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