"I committed to Mississippi State."
You did? When did you commit?
"I was talking to Coach Sherrill and asked him if I had committed. He said, 'I don't know, you tell me.' I said, 'yes sir, I have'. (Mississippi State) offered me last Wednesday. Coach (Steve) Campbell came down and told me they wanted me to come play ball for them. I said ok. That was pretty much how it went."
When did Coach Campbell come down?
"He came down Wednesday morning."
At school or at home?
So, he offered then? You thought you had committed but you didn't actually say the words, 'I committed?'
"Right, we were still trying to get some things worked out because of the way he wanted me to come in. He wants me to do the thing where I come in as a part-time student in the fall, then become a full scholarship player in January (of 2004). I wasn't sure how all that worked, so I didn't say ok right then. We talked to Coach (Curley) Hallman and got everything straighten out. At the visit, I committed."
You mentioned Coach Campbell earlier. Since he will be coaching you, what did you think about him?
"He has coached me before at a camp, the Delta State camp. I went there going into my junior year. I really like the way he coaches and the way he does things. He is a real good teacher, more than those kind of guys who get up into your face and yell at you. I really like that. I have heard from so many people that he is a top-notch coach and a top-notch guy. That is the kind of coach that I would like to play for."
What did Coach Campbell say he liked about you as an offensive lineman?
"He said I am quick, go until the whistle blows, I have a good mean streak in me and I'm real smart. He said that is almost a textbook center. He said some of the best centers in the (NFL) have been 6-0, 6-1, not very tall and mean as anything."
I know you grew up a big Bulldog fan. I guess this is like a dream come true for you?
"Yes sir, it is. I'm really excited."
Going back to the visit, who was your player host?
Had you met him before?
"No, this was my first time. We hung out with Nick Signiagio, Tommy Ferrill and their friends."
Tommy Ferrill is from Hattiesburg, isn't he?
"Yes sir, Tommy is from Hattiesburg. As a matter of fact, his parents go to church with us."
I know you are a very good student. What do you plan on majoring in at State?
"I am probably going to go into what they call the pre-medical, biological science field. I'm going to keep my options open, because I'm not going to say right now that I want to be a doctor. When I get up there and get in the classes, I could find something else that I really like."
That should do it, John. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me.
"Alright, Mr. Swindoll."
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.