Q: What kind of things do you do for fun?
A: To relax or have fun, I love to play the annual NCAA football video game. I also listen to music all of the time and Drake is one of my favorite artists. I also like hanging out with my circle of friends.
Q: At what age did you start playing football?
A: I started playing football at the age of 6. In Texas we play early and year-round; including flag, arena, 7-on-7 and tackle football. At age 6 we are able to play flag football. Every year beyond that through 6th grade, I played flag, arena and tackle football. It was kind of fun during the summers because we would be playing baseball, basketball, arena football, and 7-on-7 football.
Q: What was your favorite college team growing up?
A: Growing up I had a lot of favorite college teams. I mostly was a bandwagon fan and would root for the best team at the time. Teams like Miami, Oklahoma, Nebraska, etc. As I got older my dad used to say that if I wanted to play college football, I should not have a favorite school or team. He told me that if I had a favorite school and wanted to go there no matter what, it would effect my decision. What if they recruit 4 All-Americans at my position both years before I am able to sign? It probably would not be a great situation; no one wants to sit on the bench. My favorite teams became those that recruited me.
Q: Have a favorite NFL Team?
A: I am not sure if I have a favorite NFL team but I root for the Dallas Cowboys. I have had favorite NFL players like Larry Fitzgerald, Jerry Rice and DeSean Jackson.
Q: Which is better, the NFL or college?
A: I believe college football is better because of the pure ďplaying for funĒ aspect, although I am quickly learning that there is also a business/serious side of playing college football too. Still, college football has the fan bases that are always behind their teams, traditions, pageantry, etc.
Q: Do you try and emulate any specific player?
A: I donít emulate one player but try to pick pieces from various players. I like the speed and explosiveness of Tavon Austin and DeíAnthony Thomas. To admire great hands and routes I emulate Larry Fitzgerald. I also read about how Jerry Rice trained and prepared each season to get better.
Q: Any particular reason for the jersey number?
A: I wear number 1. I have worn that number since my second team at the age of 7, with the exception of my freshman year. As a freshman, coaches dictated what numbers players wore. I actually chose #46, but something happened to our uniform orders and the wrong colors and numbers came back. We were the Sooners and they gave us maroon jerseys with mostly 1-15 numbers. My coach gave me #1 and I have worn it since.
Q: Are you happy the NCAA is going to a playoff, or did you prefer the BCS system?
A: I love the new playoff system and wish they would expand it and double the number of teams involved. The playoff system does not level the chances for every D1 school yet, but it does go a long way in making sure we get a true number-one ranked team. The new playoff system combined with the bowl games is so cool.
Q: When and who was your first scholarship offer?
A: I received my first scholarship offer from the University of Houston. Here in Dallas, we sit in the heart of 15-20 D1 schools and we normally have college satellite camps during the first 2-3 weeks of June. The colleges hold 2-3 hour sessions at different high schools and all the players show up to make an impression. The University of Houston was the first scheduled camp of the season after my Sophomore year. I ran a 4.34 and a 4.31 40-yard-dash, and a 3.8 shuttle within the first 30 minutes of the camp. I then ran two 1-on-1 routes and the coaches offered me on the spot. It was pretty cool because I had many of my peers there and the coach just kind of stopped the routes for a bit and said. ďHey, you, gold shorts, McKinney High, you have an offer.Ē I was not sure what I heard but I know a lot of people heard it too.
Q: How many scholarship offers do you currently have?
A: I currently have 14 offers: Houston, California, South Alabama, North Texas State, Oregon State, Texas State, Nebraska, Toledo, Kentucky, Navy, Tulsa, Sam Houston State, Iowa and SMU.
Q: Is there a school that hasn't offered you that you would like to see do so?
A: I am not sure if there is a school that I wish would offer me. Sounds crazy, but I only want to work with schools/coaches that truly want me to be apart of their program. I imagine there are a lot of schools that feel my game would not fit their offensive style or there are staffs that feel I am not as good as other players they are recruiting. I can only control what I can control and I try not to worry about that. I respect each schools recruiting process and the efforts of all the coaches recruiting out there.
Q: What are some of the considerations you have when deciding between schools?
A: When deciding between schools, I will consider the offensive style and if I truly fit. Also the coaching stability, coaching style and their ability to make me better. Academic factors involving my major and what type of academic support they offer for athletes.
Q: Who are the schools currently on your list for consideration? Any leader(s)?
A: No leaders yet, but I anticipate narrowing it down within a few weeks. After today, I think I may announce a verbal commitment at The Opening.
Q: Who is currently recruiting you the hardest?
A: Right now Nebraska, Oregon State, Kentucky and Iowa are recruiting me the hardest. I usually hear from the college coaches by Facebook, e-mail, slow mail or a phone call. I received spring visits from all of those that have offered; some even twice. I normally receive 4-5 pieces of mail at home and 4-5 pieces at school daily. It is pretty cool and part of the process but it does get old. I once received 54 letters in a day from Kentucky, which was really cool. I then received 102 from Oregon State and was like...man.
Q: Do you pay attention to the recruiting momentum of the teams you are considering?
A: Yes and I pay more attention to what players the schools recruit. I want to be on good football teams so I want to be around good football players. You want to be part of schools that recruit well.
Q: Did you attend any schools Spring Game?
A: I attended Oklahoma State, Baylor and Kentuckyís spring games. All three were different. Baylor had a small crowd but an upbeat atmosphere with the team jumping around, while music was blasting. OSU had a more traditional scrimmage with a larger crowd of maybe 5-10k. Kentucky had a crazy-exciting spring game with over 50k fans. The staff and team seemed pumped but the atmosphere created by the fans was really cool.
Q: Do you plan on attending any camps or combines this summer?
A: I attended the Oklahoma State satellite camp this past weekend and will camp at Kentucky June 9th-11th. I will also visit Iowa and attend Nebraskaís Big Red Weekend on June 15th. I know I will participate in a few competition camps like the National Underclassmen Football Combine to keep sharp. We currently do not plan to have an extensive camp circuit like in years past, but Iíll hit camps where coaches have interest in me.
Q: Have you thought about who you might want to use your official visits on?
A: I will narrow it down to those schools within 3-4 weeks. Since I plan on graduating in December, I anticipate taking my official visits during the season.
Q: What positions are you being recruited to play?
A: Every school is recruiting me to play slot receiver. The interesting part is that I hardly play slot on my high school team. Our offensive coordinator mostly plays me outside, which may seem odd but it works.
Q: What position would you prefer to play in college?
A: I definitely prefer to play slot receiver.
Q: What do you feel are some of your playing strengths?
A: My playing strengths include my speed, hands and route running. Most schools see my speed as my biggest asset. Running a sub-4.4 consistently allows me to be a deep threat anywhere. I have schools that run everything from the 'Power I' to the 'Air Raid' offering me scholarships. If you watch my highlights or game film, you will see crisp routes, when called for and youíll see me sitting in open holes, when called for. I pride myself on coverage recognition and adjusting my routes accordingly. On film, you will also see me catching everything! Throughout my high school career, I have only had 4 drops compared with over 100 catches.
Q: What are some things you would like to work on between now and college?
A: I will definitely continue working on routes, catching and film study. I will also work on getting bigger and stronger. I will place the biggest focus on getting stronger.
Q: How would you feel about Redshirting?
A: I am not sure how I feel about redshirting. It can be a positive thing but I can only set my goals to try and get on the field as a Freshman. Iíll let my coaches decide what is best and Iíll support their decision. Iíll make it very difficult for them by working hard.
Q: What is the most annoying aspect of the recruiting process?
A: Itís kind of funny because you want to be recruited and you strive for coaches to want you, but the most annoying part is having to call them when they facebook you. Basically, with so many offers you also have many facebook messages every day and coaches canít call. Instead they ask you to call. You donít want to be rude so you 'Yes Sir' and give them a call. Itís a blessing to be recruited but having to call coaches when they request it can be annoying.
Q: Do you have a major in mind?
A: Yes, I plan on majoring in Business but lately, I have been thinking about Engineering. Either way, the plan is for me to leave college with a Master's degree. With me enrolling early and football players attending summer school each year, there should be no excuse not to have a Master's degree by the time I leave.
Q: What are your goals for your senior season?
A: My biggest goal is for our team to make the playoffs. We play in one of the toughest 5A districts in Texas. In our district we have the 4 largest schools in the state, with enrollments of 7,400, 6,500, 6,000 and 5,700. We barely made the 5A qualification with an enrollment of 2,205. Of the largest 4 schools, we also have the defending State Champion, Allen High School. You may have read about them because they built a $60-million dollar stadium. Keep in mind every stadium in our district, except our home stadium, has a 15k-plus seating capacity. We only hold 10k. That said, last year we did beat the largest school! Yeah boy. I have personal performance goals like catches, yards and TDs but I'd rather focus on goals like improving my leadership skills and making players around me better.
Q: Do you have any individual goals for your college career?
A: I think all of my goals are sequential. I want to have considerable playing time and possibly push for All-Conference honors. As my years go on, I want to start and then possibly earn All-America honors. Itís hard to state specifics because I believe that as long as I work hard and take care of the things I can control, good things will happen.
Q: What do you think you will miss most about high school?
A: I know I will miss my friends and teammates but I will mostly miss Texas High School Football. You know, we are crazy about all the activities around high school football. Most say we are spoiled and we kind of are. Our school has a two-story 100-yard indoor football facility with a massive weight room. It also has coaches offices and team meeting rooms. We have two grass fields and a turf stadium at our school but play our home games in a much larger turf-field stadium. Iíll miss the tailgaters, send-offs, pep rallies and homecoming parade. I will even miss our coaches weekly show. Thatís crazy, we actually have a high school coaches show.
Q: What is the craziest recruiting pitch you have heard so far?
A: The craziest pitch I have had so far was a school offering me a scholarship and then telling me that I only had a couple of days to decide. My family and I were really turned-off. I respect the recruiting process and realize all schools are different but man, that was pretty lame.
Q: Do you have a time frame as to when you would like to commit?
A: I actually just received my official invite for Nikeís 'The Opening' June 30-July 3. I think I will announce my verbal commitment there.
Q: In addition to National Letter of Intent Day in February, should there be an early signing period like college basketball has?
A: I definitely believe football should have an early signing period too. I think it would help everyone and make for a better recruiting process. All the early commit guys would sign early and that would clear space for all the open scholarship slots. The schools would truly know what they have left and the recruits could pinpoint their efforts too.
Q: Have you communicated with any prospective recruits about attending the same school?
A: Yes, I speak often with Kentucky commits Thaddeus Snodgrass and Drew Barker. We are pretty good friends and we talk about attending the same school. We'll see.
Q: What are 3 things on your Bucket List?
A: My bucket list includes: 1) Traveling the world for like a year and visiting every major city, while also visiting rural and odd places too. 2) Owning an exotic car like an Austin Martin. 3) Collect rings; Conference Championships, Bowl rings, National Championship and Super Bowl rings.
Q: Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
A: My biggest influences have been my Mom and Dad. They have supported me and my two brothers with everything we do. They try to make sure we do things together. My Dad was my little league coach and is always preaching to me about life and experiences. My Mom cheers me on in everything; sometimes even when she is not sure. She just supports us all.
Prior to contributing to HuskerMax, Jeremy Pernell co-founded the all football website N2FL.com. He served as the editor in chief of the college football portion of the website which focused heavily on recruitment and talent analysis, including the NFL Draft. You can email him at N2FL@hotmail.com.