Orlando Dr. Phillips rising sophomore Jonathan Pollock had a feeling he might be claiming two teams by the end of the week. He was right.
The 6-foot, 193-pounder, who is projected as one of the Panthers’ starting linebackers this fall, committed to Mississippi State after attending the Bulldogs camp on Friday afternoon, according to his father Al Pollock
Once he was offered by MSU coach Dan Mullen, the deal was sealed.
Pollock played mostly special teams as a freshman at DP this past season, making 13 tackles. He’s been a hit on the camp circuit both on campuses across the Southeast, as well as at camps put on by various organizations like National Underclassmen Combines, Rivals and Nike.
His first call after committing was to Dr. Phillips head coach Rodney Wells to let him know the news.
“I feel great. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” Pollock said. “But at the same time, I know it’s not over and I can’t think that it is because I can’t get lazy. I still have three years of high school ball. I have to work harder now and prove Mississippi State was not wrong in offering me. Now I just want to work harder to be the best I can be.”
He and his father are on a bit of a whirlwind tour of the Southeast, checking out schools. The Pollocks, however, had said earlier this week there might be some news coming out of Starkville. Pollock received his first offer from Akron in March, and then got his second scholarship offer from Memphis on the first leg of their trip on Wednesday.
They were at Ole Miss on Thursday and then Mississippi State today. Pollock said he has enjoyed each of his stops and is learning quite a bit. He was most excited about his camp work with the Bulldogs staff, and in particular MSU linebackers coach Geoff Collins, about whom he raved.
“I just loved working with Coach Collins and Coach Mullen,” Pollock said. “Coach Collins taught me so many different things that I didn’t even know about, like how to delay in my pass coverage and how to read and identify things differently and how to plant my feet when I’m coming out of my breaks and different ways to read the running backs … just a lot of things. I had so much fun working out there with them.”
And the MSU coaching staff obviously liked the things Pollock did, as well, especially when he clocked a 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds during camp.
“They loved everything I was doing, honestly,” Pollock said. “They understand that I’m a little short right now because I am a freshman and they want me over 6-foot, which I should be, I’m supposed to be at least 6-2. … I have three years to get there. They also said they are completely comfortable with where my skill-set is right now.”
Pollock said with the commitment in hand, it still doesn’t mean the recruiting process will stop, and he will continue on his campus sojourn this summer, as planned.
“Yes, I’m going to Kentucky after this, then Louisville, North Carolina State, North Carolina, Duke, Cincinnati and then ending with Vanderbilt,” Pollock said.
He also said the MSU staff had no problem with him checking out other campuses.
“They said they are more than happy to have me go look at other schools.”
When he gets back to Orlando, Pollock said he'll be focused on the one goal that has eluded Dr. Phillips football.
“My first step toward working harder will be doing the best I can in my part to get Dr. Phillips High School a state championship,” Pollock said. “No one has ever done it before. I’m just very excited and I can’t wait to get back in to O-town and put the work in with the team.”
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun