1) Carroll HS, ranked 9th in the nation, is playing for the Texas 5A championship this Saturday.
2) Jake has recorded almost 100 tackles, including 8 sacks, this season.
3) Jake was selected to the Dallas-Fort Worth newspaper Top 75 Area team recently.
4) A couple of weeks ago, he was selected the Athlete of the Week in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. That selection covers all sports.
Jake Benoist Interview:
Talk a little about the in-school visits that you've had so far.
"SMU came in and watched me. Sam Houston State was talking to Chase Washington and they told him that they were also interested in me playing linebacker. North Texas talked to me. Their coach said that they had been watching film and that he was very interested and wanted to call me.
"When (MSU assistant) Coach (John) Blake came in, he watched film and he called me in and complimented me on my game and said that I have really good hips. He said he could tell that I really understand the game. Then he asked me if I had ever played linebacker before. I kind of took that as they are looking at me at linebacker. I said I had never played linebacker before but I could learn how. I was pretty pumped because he was really cool, a really strong looking guy. He showed me his Super Bowl rings. He coached for the (Dallas) Cowboys. He was really nice and very complimentary. He said that he was going to check out more tape and keep in touch with me."
What was your impression of Mississippi State while at their summer camp this past summer?
"I went to State and didn't know what to expect. It is always great hearing the coaches saying that they are interested but you really know if you are going to like a school if you go and visit and meet the coaches face to face and see the campus. State just impressed me so much. The facilities were unreal. I've seen some other facilities and State's are definitely up there. I would love to play there."
Has State kept in contact with you since the camp?
"Coach Stump sent me a couple of letters after the camp, then I didn't hear from them at all, no letters, no calls, nothing. Then, out of the blue one day, the coach comes in and said that we have someone who wants to talk to you. I went to the back and it was Coach Blake and I was totally pumped up. I was like 'good Mississippi State didn't lose interest'."
I appreciate you calling me back, Jake. I'll give you a call back in a few weeks. Good luck next Saturday.
"Ok, thank you so much."
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.