Top FL lineman sets RU visit

Gene's Page caught up with Hollywood Christian School offensive lineman Dio Herrera (6-4, 315), one of the top 100 players in the state of Florida. Dio talked about the schools he is being recruited by and his feelings about Mississippi State.

Dio Herrera, a very respectful young man over the phone, has been in the United States since he was six years old. He and his family moved from the Dominican Republic to Iowa to be with his sister who was going to school there. From there, they moved to Florida where they currently reside.

From what I have been told, you have a real mean streak on the field. How did you come by that mean streak?
"It all came from my brother."

You play right guard. Is that the position you are being recruited for?
"Yes, most schools are recruiting me for guard. Actually, Virginia Tech wants me as a tackle. That kind of surprises me because I am 6-4 and about 315."

What schools are you officially visiting?
"I am visiting Mississippi State on January 9th, the weekend (Jan. 16th) after that it is the University of South Florida, the weekend after that (Jan. 23rd) Rutgers, then the last weekend(Jan. 30th) it is Virginia Tech."

When did Mississippi State start showing interest in you?
"About a month ago they saw film on me. One of our coaches, Coach Pearson knows (MSU assistant)Coach Holliday. So, he sent him the tape and (Coach Holliday) came over to the school and we spoke. He came over to my house and we had a great time."

What is your opinion of Coach Holliday?
"He is the main reason why I set up the (MSU)official visit. My family liked him. My mom liked him. My brother liked him. The chemistry was there."

When did the other schools start recruiting you?
"Rutgers offered me my junior year. They saw me practice and really liked me. They have been behind me from day one. South Florida saw me early in the summer at a camp. I got Best O-Lineman at the camp. I also spoke to Miami for a little bit but I don't want to stay here."

What schools have offered scholarships?
"A lot of DI-AA and the ones that I have mentioned to you."

All the ones that you are visiting have offered, then?
"Pretty much. Virginia Tech and Mississippi State are going to make it official when I go there for my visits."

What are some things you like about Mississippi State?
"I like that fact that it is a fresh start. That is exactly what I am looking for. That is why I don't want to stay here in Florida. I want to go somewhere where no one knows me. That is what Mississippi State is offering me, a fresh start with a great, new coach."

Do you know much about their new head coach, Coach Croom?
"I know the basics that he played in the NFL and coaches there."

Is it significant to you that he has coached in the NFL?
"Yes, he knows what it takes. Being coached by him, he will take you (to the NFL). At least, that is what I am hoping for."

Does that give Mississippi State an advantage over other schools that are recruiting you?
"Oh yes, of course because he has seen what it takes."

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