Jason Jude Talks About His Visit to MSU

[Premium Article] Jason Jude, a 6-1, 225-pound running back with 4.5 speed from Athens (AL) High School, officially visited Mississippi State this past weekend. He talked to Gene's Page about his visit and also about his commitment to MSU.

Jason, talk a little about your visit to Mississippi State this past weekend.
"It was real good. I liked the way the new coaches are trying to build a new program and get (State) back to how it was."

What were some of the things that you liked about Mississippi State?
"They have really good academic programs. The last 11 years they have had a 70% graduation rate for football. Auburn also had good academic programs but I didn't see me playing at the fullback position."

When did State first get involved with your recruitment?
"Coach (Ron) Cooper was at Wisconsin when he got the job at Mississippi State. He had gotten Wisconsin to offer me. Mississippi State had been writing me but they hadn't really seen my tape. He showed them a highlight tape of me and they offered me."

When did that occur?
"I think it was a week before the bowl game that he called me and a week after when (State) called me and offered a scholarship."

Which coach is actually recruiting you for State?
"Ron Cooper."

You obviously know Coach Cooper, did you also meet your position coach while on your official visit to State?
"Yeah, I met (Coach Glenn Davis). He is a good man. He is pretty cool."

Did you know much about State prior to your visit?
"I didn't know a lot about Mississippi State, but Coach Cooper told me the situation that they wanted a big tailback. He said they were recruiting me and a couple of other people. I liked that and wanted to play tailback like I did in high school."

What did the coaches say they liked about you?
"They told me that they would like for me to be the big back. They told me that they had a couple of small backs but they wanted a big back to go with them."

Who was your player host while on your visit?
"Reggie Harris." (Reggie is a walk-on holder/linebacker from Noxubee County High School in Macon, Mississippi.-Gene).

Was this your first official visit or have you also visited Auburn?
"I visited Memphis and Auburn."

I guess all three of those schools have offered you?

What other school, beside those three, have offered you a scholarship?
"Vanderbilt, North Carolina State, Southern Miss, Wisconsin, Louisville.....there are probably a few others but I can't remember them all."

When did you guys get back from your visit?
"We got back around 9 or 10. We left at about 6 because my dad is a pastor. He had to make it back in time to preach."

Well, how does State rank among the teams that you are looking at?
"I made the decision that I was going to be a Bulldog last week. I told Coach Cooper to keep it quiet until I made my visit."

You did?

With that news, this interview takes on an entirely different perspective. Did the visit confirm what you thought about State?
"Yeah, it made it more exciting. Plus, Reggie Harris is a good guy."

I know you had a knee injury. Aren't you approved for running now?
"Yeah, I'm jogging now. The doctors told me that I'm doing real well now."

What was the injury? I don't think it was an ACL was it?
"Yeah, I tore my ACL and I tore a muscle. My ACL is probably more healed than the torn muscle. That is the only ache and pain I feel now."

When did the injury occur?
"It happened in the 4th game of the season three minutes into the second half. I played three and a half games."

When did they say you would be ready to do what you wanted to do, physically?
"They told me around the end of March. I want to run track. If my doctor clears me, I'm going to run. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get cleared because everytime I see him he says I'm doing great."

What do you run in track?
"I run the 100 and will run the 200 this year."

What do you run the 100 meters in?
"I ran it in 11.2 (seconds)."

Switching back to football, how did you do in football during your junior and sophomore seasons?
"I had 1,650 yards and 19 touchdowns my junior year and my sophomore year I had 1,364 yards and 21 touchdowns."

You've had a great career.
"I was trying to get that 2,000 this year but I got stopped short."

You can do that in college, how about that (laugh)?

Jason, I'm not going to keep you any longer. Thanks for talking to me.

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 swindoll@genespage.com.

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