Westside's Avante Dickerson is the most highly recruited high school football player in Nebraska. The junior defensive back announced his commitment to Minnesota. WOWT6 Sports Director Ross Jernstrom went one-on-one with Dickerson in his first t-v interview and talked about his decision to join the Gophers.
Ross: “How was the recruiting process?”
Avante: “The recruiting process was wonderful, you are just a kid and you get these offers out of nowhere and everyone is blessed to have that, it was kind of rough sometimes and stressful, but at the end of the day, you got to go somewhere and be happy, I ended up going to Minnesota and that was the best choice for me.
Ross: “How did Minnesota recruit you?”
Avante: "So they were like my third offer probably my sophomore year, they have been staying in contact ever since, for a year and a half, now like there is nothing wrong with Nebraska, nothing wrong with anybody. I felt in my heart, that was the best decision for me to go to Minnesota.”
Ross: What were your deciding factors on choosing Minnesota?”
Avante: “The virtual visit was like amazing, I face timed with about 7 coaches, and then we went through the facilities and everything was a real nice facility, a real nice city also.
Ross: “How big of an impact did Minnesota Head Coach P.J. Fleck have in your decision?”
Avante: “He is energetic, you can’t get nothing better than that, he is high with the coaches, jumping up and down with the players and everything, if there is a coach getting heavy like that, you know you got to play for him.”
Ross: What is your relationship with the defensive backs coach?
Avante: “Coach Paul Haynes is a great guy, he has been coaching 25 years, Ohio State, Michigan State, Kent State, and Arkansas.So he has been coaching everywhere and has a bunch of guys in the NFL, you can’t get a better coach than that 25 plus years.”
Ross: “Minnesota is coming off an 11-win season, the football program is on the rise. How big of a factor was that?
Avante: “I mean it's a big step for me I don't really care if a team is winning or losing, I picked Minnesota because it was the best fit for me. “
Ross: “How soon could you make an impact as a defensive back?”
Avante: “So they have four corners in the room and my freshman year they are going to losing three, they are signing four in my recruiting class. Two have already signed, plus me, so we need just one more.”
Ross: “What impressed you about the facilities at Minnesota?”
Avante: “The locker room, everything is amazing you got to see it.”
Ross: “The weather in Minnesota is cold. How did that impact your decision?”
Avante: “You have to play in the cold no matter what, after that State Championship game I think I can handle everything.”
Ross: “What is your response to Husker fans on why you did not choose to go to Nebraska?”
Avnate: “Well Nebraska I love guys I will always have a spot in my heart, I love you guys, the best fit for me was Minnesota and that is what I picked."
Westside Head Coach Brett Froendt on Dickerson's Commitment to Minnesota:
"It was about relationships with the coaches, it was about who could develop him at the next level both athletically and to be a man and he never compromised those one time. So when he came back to me with his list, that is exactly what that reflected and all the way down to his final choice, because the best relationships that he had with those coaches up there, the opportunity that they have to develop him, and his position coach up there is top notch and he never compromised that. Coach Fleck is a special recruiter he was heavily involved in the recruiting, both with Avante and with me and so that was a fun experience, but he is going to a genuine cultured, strong cultured opportunity and an opportunity to get on the field early, so I am proud of his process and I am proud of his decision."