We were able to have in-depth conversation with Michael's father, Greg Herrick.
The following information was
revealed during our interview with Greg Herrick:
Were you able
to go to Ole Miss with Michael Herrick for his official visit? "I coach basketball, and we
had a game on that day, so I could not make it. My wife did not want to go without
me, so she did not go either. Michael's older brother, Robert, is a senior at
the Naval Academy. It was a good opportunity for Robert and Michael to be together.
Of course, Ole Miss could not pay for Robert's trip, so we chipped in to make
it doable. They had an absolute blast. Robert said he felt Michael was in the
right place, so it just confirmed our decision that he made the right choice."
your family heard about the Mazzone rumors? "Michael said when he met with
Coach Orgeron Sunday privately, coach told him there would be some changes on
the offensive side of the ball. We assumed that one of those changes was going
to be Coach Mazzone. Coach Orgeron never gave him any names, but we have heard
and read about the rumors. As a family we are concerned with who will be coaching
him next year, but the names we have heard thrown around, we feel very comfortable
with. Steve Sarkisian from USC and Michael have actually worked together before.
Michael loves Coach Sarkisian so that would be a great fit. We have heard some
talk about Norm Chow. Now that would be great, but I do not know how they are
going to get him out of Tennessee. He has a big contact with them. All of the
rumors we hear are attractive for us and we approve. Although Ryan Neilson did
most of the recruiting for Ole Miss, he really liked Coach Mazzone a lot and was
looking forward to learning under him. But this is a tough business, and we understand
that. In today's era, you simply are not going to have the same coaches around
you year in and year out. We know Coach Orgeron wants to hire someone he has a
history with or someone who really knows the (U)SC offense. We feel comfortable
that Coach O will make the right hire."
Does Michael have any chance
to graduate in December? "It is funny you asked about that. Coach Neilson
is coming to talk to our academic councilor to see if we can get this thing worked
out. There is a possibility we are going to get Michael into Ole Miss where he
can go through Spring practice. From what I understand, they might not even have
a QB for Spring drills, so this would be a great opportunity for him. He needs
a Government and an English class to graduate in December. We are just going to
have to see if maybe he can go to another school to graduate or do it through
an intercession or correspondence course. We are going to look at all of our options.
Michael is just a 17 year old kid who is 6' 2" and only a 165 pounds. The
boy started school a year early, so he is already a year younger than everybody
else in his grade. He needs to gain some weight, and if he needs to, he can take
a redshirt year. But I think as soon as he gets around that good Southern cooking,
they will put some weight on him in a hurry (laugh). Michael has also been selected
to play in the CA/FL all-star classic on December 31st. That is probably the most
prestigious high school all-star game in the country behind the Army All-American
bowl. Miahael was also selected for the Shrine Bowl that is played on June 20th.
That matches the public versus the private schools. And then there is the North/South
Game. I doubt he will play in that one because he will already be at Ole Miss.
You also have to take into consideration that he might just want to graduate with
his classmates at his school, but like I told him, you will always keep the memories
in your heart. You do not have to have that school's diploma in your hands. They
can not take away your memories."
How does Michael feel to have broken
the California state passing record? "Relieved (laugh). I think he is 19th
on the all-time list nationally. He has a chance to move up to 17th next game.
I think I am more impressed with this than the state record. The irony of this
is that he did it on a big stage. He broke the record on the last play of the
game, and the guy had to break a tackle to get it. The athletic director dragged
me out on the field, and he presented the ball to me. I told him how proud me
and his mother were, and he told me thanks, but he needed to get back with his
teammates. That is what kind of guy he is. Michael does not care about all of
those records. Those are just for US old folks(laugh). He just wants to win the
state championship. But this was a huge burden that has been lifted off of his
shoulders. The local paper had a Michael Herrick watch, WITH how many yards he
had and how many he needed to break the record. It ran every week. It was just
a lot of pressure on him."
People ask me why Michael is not being
recruited any harder; what are your thoughts? "I get asked that all of the
time too. He has been recruited by everyone in the PAC 10. Southern California
was not interested because they are back heavy, and they want to sign Jimmy Clauson
next year. UCLA has 3 freshmen QB's, so they did not have room. I have been on
the phone with Oregon a lot the past month. I wish they would have shown more
interest earlier, but it is simply too late now. Washington has been asking if
we would be interested. I just got off the phone with Coach Willingham last week.
Most of the schools are simply just honoring his commitment. As a coach, I am
not sure I would do that, because you never know what is going to happen. You
take Stanford. They want to sign him but he has to improve on his math score with
the SAT. They said if he improved on the score, they would take him. But I told
him to not even worry about it because he knows where he is going. We think he
is ready for the SEC. He can make all of the throws. I heard that Ole Miss was
not even throwing the ball deep because they did not have anyone who could throw
it long. That is what Michael does best. I think Ole Miss is getting a steal,
and Michael thinks Coach Orgeron is the best coach in America. I mean, I think
that kid loves Coach Orgeron more than myself (laugh). I can not tell you how
crazy he is about Coach Orgeron. But Michael is going to make a great college
QB because for one, he wants it, and for two, he has the skills. The only thing
he does not have right now is the weight, but like I said earlier, once he gets
around that good ole Southern cooking. That will take care of that. When people
ask us if we are disappointed that he did not get a lot of offers, we say no,
because he got the right offer. Ole Miss meets all of the criterias we were looking
for. They have his major. He has a chance to play early. They have great coaches,
and they have great tradition. We could not be anymore happier with his decision."
carries a 3.75 GPA and an 1150 SAT test (old format).
To view Michael in
action, click here.
Will Michael Herrick arrive to OM in January?
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