Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit with the staff at Ole Miss up in Oxford Mississippi. While walking through the facility with defensive coordinator Dave Wommack something happened that I haven't experienced on any other campus in the last decade.
As you can hear me recount more fully in the audio below (from the most recent FootballScoop radio show), as coach Wommack and I walked through the various parts of the facility we often came upon players going through their normal daily activities (some working out, some running, some studying, some hanging out in the locker room, etc...); nearly every one of those players, upon seeing us, walked over and greeted me, introducing themselves and beginning a conversation.
Over the past three or four years I've had the privilege of visiting with coaches and players at upwards of fifty programs across the country. At most of the those, some of the players will say hi and shake your hand; but very rarely have I had any players ask questions about me or my business. At Ole Miss, nearly every one of the players we ran into took the time to ask questions and seemed truly interested in my responses.
After leaving the facility I called a few of the coaches to relay how impressed I was and each one said that comes from coach Freeze. They spoke about how much coach Freeze stresses life skills with his program. "There's way more than just football being taught here."
In the audio below you'll hear me expand upon this; and then Derek leads us into a discussion related to facilities at Ole Miss, Mississippi State and around the rest of the country.
In full disclosure, I received my bachelor's degree from Ole Miss. I married a beautiful young lady who attended Alabama, now live in Baton Rouge and routinely visit most programs in the SEC and many throughout the country.