Michael Antonescu brings passion to the game

Michael Antonescu (OL, Ridgeland, MS) - OK, are you in the market for a 6' 4", 285 pound lineman that has run a best 5.1 forty and carries a 3.5 GPA/ 24 ACT? Oh yea, he is also as mean as a grizzly bear on the field but as nice as a teddy bear off of the field.

If you are, go no further than Ridgeland (MS).

When you watch film of this Romanian blooded young man, you notice how nasty Michael is on the field. You know, that type of nastiness you need with you when one is strolling down Bourbon street at 3:00 am. But when you speak to Antonsecu off of the field, you would think that you are talking to an up and coming doctor. Oh, wait a minute, that is exactly what Michael plans to be, an Orthopedic Surgeon.

"I use my intelligence on the field to my advantage. I can see stuff before it happens," stated the articulate Michael Antonescu. "I owe everything to my coaches, from Coach Burton on down to Martin and Clay. I can see defensive schemes and audible out of it. Being 6' 4", I can see over the shorter defensive tackles. My technique is not too bad either."

Wait a minute, we are only talking about a high schooler. There has to be some areas that Michael needs to improve on, right?

"Most definitely. I need to work on everything. But mainly, I need to work on my foot quickness and agility coming out of the pass rush stance. I need to get in a wider base, almost pro style. I am really excited to test my new techniques in some competition."

Michael and his little brother went back and watched each game that Antonescu played in last year. How many pancaked did they see?

"I had 102 pancakes by my count. I could be off a few, but that is what we counted. I know this though, I have never given up a sack since I have been starting for the past two years."

Who is the best player Antonescu has ever faced?

"Derrick Odom from Callaway. He had speed, quickness, and he could think too. Aaron Williams is no walk in the park either. He has helped make me the player I am. I mean, you go up against an Aaron Williams everyday in practice, it only makes you better."

Which colleges are interested in the '05 1st Team All-Metro (Clarion Ledger) and District performer?

"I am getting a lot of letters from USM, Ole Miss, MSU, Houston, Indiana, Wyoming, Stanford, Duke, Florida, and Auburn. Alabama, Louisville, and Colorado have really started to pick up their letters too."

Has Michael had a chance to visit any of the schools he is interested in this Spring?

"I unfortunately did not make it down to Auburn's Jr Day. I went to Ole Miss'. I enjoyed it. I am going to MSU on Saturday. I am trying to go to the local ones. I want to go see USM too."

What were Michael's thoughts on Ole Miss' Jr Day?

"I enjoyed it there. I met Coach Kehoe. I was impressed with what he did at Miami. He told me the offensive line was going to be the center piece for their class. He said they are going to sign like 9 to 10 offensive linemen this year. I just think Ole Miss is a sleeping giant. All they need is the right coaching staff, which I think they have now. I think they could dominate the SEC, especially with the way they are recruiting."

And what new did Antonescu learn about Ole Miss during his trip?

"I have been an Ole Miss fan since I was a kid. I knew just about everything there is to know about Ole Miss before I took the trip. But I did learn about their academics. I got to see the insides of their facilities like their new training room and weight room. The weight trainer told us the proper substances to use. I am going to the local GMC pretty soon. He told us about the healthy things we can do for our body that gives you an advantage. I also did not know they had a tutor for you every day of the week. Other than that, I pretty much knew everything."

What attracts Michael to MSU?

"I have not been there yet, but I like coach Grimes already. He has been text messaging me a lot. We talk a lot on the phone. He is a real nice guy. A friend of mine also goes to MSU, and he loves it. He said Coach Croom was great to play for. I am going to really give all of the Mississippi schools a hard look because I love Mississippi so much."

Auburn and Florida have also caught Michael's eye?

"Auburn, I just like how their offensive line plays. They have a strong left tackle. He is a monster. I really watched how he played lat year. When they sent me a letter, I was really excited. Coach David Saunders (Ole Miss assistant) talked really good about Auburn when he was at Millsaps. He said some things about them."

"Florida just has that winning tradition. Year in and year out; they not only have a chance to win the SEC but the national championship. They have Coach Urban Myers now, which has brought their program back to where it was when Coach Spurrier left."

What will Michael look at when it comes decision time?

"My major thing will be their academics. It only takes one play to end your football career. I want to be an Orthopedic Surgeon. I will also look for that Southern atmosphere, like Ole Miss'. Lastly, I will look at the depth chart, coaches, and players to see how well I fit in."

Michael will particpate at the scout combine at Ole Miss on April 30th.

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