A Q&A With Callaway HS Coach and Players

Callaway High School offensive linemen Justin Bell and Aaron Morris attended the Saturday Mississippi State camp, along with their position coach Otis Riddley. I talked one on one with all three about the MSU camp.

Callaway High School offensive line coach Otis Riddley

Talk about your two senior offensive linemen.
"Justin Bell is actually about 6-3, 330 and Aaron Morris is about 6-4, 6-5 and 320. Both are great kids. Off the field character-wise they are awesome. They kept me laughing the entire trip up here. I love both of those guys. You don't have to worry about them when you are not around because they are great kids."

When did you get to Mississippi State?
"We got here around 1 o'clock. We did a few things like running the forty, vertical jump, weight and height. So, they got a little work in today."

What colleges are really serious about them, not just recruiting them, but very serious about them?
"All the in-state schools are on them pretty strong. And you have Alabama who is hard after them. I think Alabama, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are in their top three right now."

Where have they gone so far?
"Unofficially, they have gone to Ole Miss and Mississippi State. And we go to Alabama next weekend."

Justin Bell

What camps have you attended?
"The first camp I went to was the Ole Miss camp. And I just left the Southern Miss camp last Wednesday."

What do you do at the camps?
"At the Southern Miss camp they have something called the County Fair where they set up drills that we had to go through. We had 25 minutes worth of coaching, then we did one-on-ones for a period of time. But most of it were the drills to see how your footwork is.

"The Ole Miss camp was similar to this one (the MSU camp). They coached us about our stances, on how quick we come out of our stances, and make sure we had our weight on the inside of our feet. We also did a tough man drill where we pushed the sled for 20 yards, then ran about 10, then we flipped the tire. I had never done anything like that before but it was kind of fun.

"Here (at Mississippi State), (MSU offensive line) Coach (John) Hevesy had one on one time with us. He made sure our stances were correct, made sure we got our foot in there correctly, made sure our pass pros were properly done. There were three linemen (Bell, Morris and Kel Thurman from Raleigh)."

I know it is about learning but isn't it also about getting to know the offensive line coaches as well?
"Yes, it is about getting to know the coaches and learning how they coach, get a feel about them."

Do the coaches normally talk to you at the end of the camp? If so, what do they talk about?
"Yes, they do. They talk about the guys they are losing and who is coming in. Most of the time they are just honest, they are looking for the best five and if we come in we could start if we are among the best five. They also talk about the flaws they saw in us and things we could do to get better."

What other camps do you plan on attending?
"I plan on attending Ole Miss again, Mississippi State if they have a senior camp coming up, Southern Miss camp, an Alabama camp and a Memphis camp."

Aaron Morris

What are some other schools that you have attended?
"I've only been to the Ole Miss camp Saturday and Sunday."

What did you do at Ole Miss?
"Basically, we did the same drills that we did here (at Mississippi State), we did one on ones, run-block technique and pass-block technique."

What specifically did you do at Mississippi State?
"We ran our forty. I ran a 5.5."

Is that your normal forty?
"At the Ole Miss camp I ran a 5.8, today I ran a 5.5."

What did the coaches at both Ole Miss and Mississippi State talk to you about at the end of the camps?
"They are just telling you about the programs, their depth chart, where you will stand."

Do you look on the internet to learn more about the schools?
"I do that all the time. I go home and look up Mississippi State and see how they are, not just football but everything else. I look at their buildings, their students, everything."

Are you really serious about things other than football?
"No, I'm for real about that."

What do you want from the school that you are going to sign with?
"I want a great place where I can come and know that I made the right decision. I want it to feel like home, a place where I fit in."

I know you come up to the schools to do drills, but isn't it more to get to know the coaches and see the school itself?
"I really want to come when the coach is really coaching. I want to see him when he is with his players, like he coaches them. That's really want I want to see. I can see that at a practice. I came to their spring practice right before they played their spring game. I came here and went to Ole Miss. I stayed through the whole practice."

After attending the practices, what was your opinion?
"Both of them are good coaches. I saw that they both watched everything that you do to make sure you do things right. So, they are both the same to me. I think both of them are good coaches."

What are some things that you learned that you will take back with you and use?
"I rarely see a guy who is my size in high school. Now, I really see that you have to use technique when you are blocking. I am going to put that to use."

Ok, my final question. What is your favorite restaurant?
"I would have to say it is Texas Day Brazil. It is in Memphis. It is a restaurant where they give you a card that has one side that is red and one side that is green. You turn it on green and they bring you skewers that has meat on it, such as steak. They put it on your plate and keep doing it."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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