Domonic Hopson Has it Down to 3

Pascagoula High School linebacker Domonic Hopson has narrowed his official visit list to three, Vanderbilt, Southern Miss and Mississippi State.

Domonic, who has scholarship offers from Rice, Southern Miss, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe, seems to have narrowed his list down to three.

"I have already (officially) visited Vanderbilt. And I have a visit to Southern January 13th, then the weekend after that, on the 20th, I'm going to Mississippi State," said the 6-3, 235-pounder. "A couple of colleges want me to come on the 27th, but I'm talking to my mom to see if she wants to go anywhere else. I think it's going to be between those (three) schools, Vanderbilt, Southern and State."

He commented on why those three made his final list.

"There are reasons that I like each school," said Domonic, an excellent student in the classroom who is making all A's this year. "At Vanderbilt, when I went up there I loved the coaches. And the academics stands out a lot. That's real big because the education is real important to my mom. Southern Miss, I like the coaches there, too. (Assistant) Coach (Lytrel) Pollard, the linebacker coach, and (head) Coach (Jeff) Bower call me all the time. And it's close to home, about an hour and a half away. That's good because I can come home. Mississippi State, I like (head) Coach (Sylvester) Croom. And Coach Bland and the principal at my school went to Mississippi State. One of the coaches on our staff, Laurin Collins, his brother coached Coach Bower at Southern Miss. There are a lot of people around me wanting me to go to different places, but it's been good. So, there are reasons I like all three of those schools"

His head coach, Dan Bland, talked about the reasons college coaches like Domonic so much.

"They like that he was qualified early, so they know that they are not going to worry about that," said Coach Bland. "They don't have to worry about any kind of attitude problem or whether he is going to go to class. Those are givens with him. He comes from a family that cares about school and the way he acts. That's really important to his mom and his brother (Trey), who is at Rice. They know that what they do in school is the most important thing. And he's a good football player. He is good enough to play for any of them. But they like that other part, too, always." [Editor's Note: Domonic has a 22 ACT score.]

Although Domonic now has his list whittled down to three, recruiting hasn't been the easiest experience for he and his mom, especially when coaches could come in for in-home visits.

"What made it frustrating to me was talking to coaches back-to-back and they are also visiting every day," he said. "And my mom works like 12 hours a day and she gets home and has to talk to them. That was getting her a little frustrated because she was tired from working and also had to sit up and talk to the coaches. For a little while it was frustrating, but it's good now."

Domonic explained some things he has learned from his own personal recruiting experience that he would like to share with future recruits.

"Really, you just have to stay relaxed and don't get ahead of yourself," he noted. "Take your time and see things out, don't make a quick decision. That's what a lot of people do. And they either get out of it or go to a school that they probably didn't want to go to because they made a decision early on. And if you aren't interested in somebody, go ahead and tell them. If you don't, then you have to keep talking to a school that you aren't interested in. That just makes the process harder on you."

And there is a sophomore on his team that can learn from Domonic, Jonathan DeFlanders, a running back who gained over 1,400 yards this past season. Domonic explained what makes Jonathan so good.

"Once you see his tape, you will be amazed how hard he runs. He's really good," said Domonic. "He really impressed me. It was good to play against him everyday at practice because of how hard he ran. I think he timed 4.5 (in the forty), but on the field it's just his ability. He doesn't go down. You'll see about 3 or 4 people wrap him up, but he keeps spinning and spinning, and the next thing you know he busts it out of there and breaks it for a 50-yard touchdown."

One super player is about to leave the Pascagoula High School spotlight behind as he heads to college, while another one is about to step into the spotlight.


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by 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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