"I went on the trip with my mother and cousin. I had heard about the facilities and we were very impressed with them. I met all the new coaches. We had a real good time and really felt at home there. I was hosted by Richard Burch. He was hosting Corey Clark and myself. Lance Fremin was hosted by Chris McNeil. We five spent a lot of time together. It was a real good time. I'm looking forward to going up in July."
You mentioned the new coaches. Your position coach will be Steve Campbell. What were your impressions of him?
"I heard about his success at Delta State (Coach Campbell won a National Championship at Delta State as the head coach.-Gene). I just feel with Coach Campbell combined with myself, Lance Fremin, Royce Blackledge, Brian Anderson and David Price, the future is bright. We went 3 and 8 last year but you look toward the future. I was talking to Rico Bennett and Dapoo(Darren Williams) and it is all smiles in Starkville. Of course, around the SEC nobody would expect you to be smiling after a 3 and 8 season, but you didn't lose with 20 seniors or 20 juniors. You lost with 20 freshmen and sophomores.
"Coach Campbell and I talked a lot on the way to dinner Friday night. Everybody is convinced that we will go four straight trips to Atlanta and four straight games after January 1st. I was talking to Rico Bennett and Kenny Kern and it is an entirely different atmosphere. It is all coming together now. It is time to bring Mississippi State back to the record-breaking Mississippi State that it was."
Did you get to talk to the new offensive coordinator, Morris Watts?
"Yeah, Coach Watts and I talked about a lot of schemes and everything that we were going to try and get done. I knew he has a reputation of not building players around a scheme but working a scheme around the players that he has. One place he is running the ball and at Michigan State he is spreading it out."
Did the coaches talk to you about playing time your first year?
"Coach Campbell, Lance (Fremin) and myself sat down and talked about that. Lance and I said the same thing, if Coach Campbell and Coach Sherrill say we are ready, then we will strap them on and be ready to go. If not, we'll take our time and get it done. There are players that it can happen to. My host, Richard Burch, is an example of that. People say the only difference in high school and college is the speed of the game. That's not true because you have about 200 pages of playbook that you have to learn."
You have mentioned Lance Fremin several times. It sounds like you guys have already started developing a friendship.
"I feel that we will probably be roommates when we get up there. They said we could pick our roommates when we get up there. The way that Corey (Clark), Lance and I hung out, even the time on Saturday when we had the chance to go back to our rooms and chill, Lance, Corey and my cousin who came up with me, we were all in our room playing X-Box. Even though we didn't have to be around each other, we were."
You are a very good student and academics are important to you. Talk about MSU's academics in your field of study.
"Mississippi State's computer engineering is very strong. I'm not just working on All-American (athletic) status but All-American academic status. I believe I can get it done."
Do you have another visit set this coming week?
"No, I'm not going to take any more visits."
Have you taken any other visits prior to the State visit?
"Yeah, I went to Tennessee in December."
That should do it, Donovan. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.
"Alright, Gene. Bye."
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.