Junior LB Brandon Wilson Ready

Mississippi State fourth-year junior linebacker Brandon Wilson is one of the veterans among the linebackers. While he has mainly been a backup during his time at State, he feels he has learned a lot during those four years and has much to offer the team.

"Since my sophomore year, I inherited what (head) Coach (Dan) Mullen brought in here which was working hard and being fundamentally sound with my technique on every play," said Wilson, who initially walked on as a freshman in 2008 after playing his high school ball at Northridge High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. "Technique is what wins you games. Being a backup here, that is what I have been trying to take in every day behind (former linebackers) Chris White and Jamar Chaney. Both of those guys have great technique."

Not only has he learned from those two guys, but he's also learning a lot from the newest member of the Mississippi State coaching staff, Geoff Collins.

"(Coach Collins) teaches a great deal," said Wilson. "He is teaching us great technique. He is also teaching us about the 10s, the 20s and the philosophy of football at linebacker.

"The 10s and the 20s are the spots where we line up over the guards and the tackles, the linebacker positions over the guards and tackles. In different formations those are the spots that we line up."

Collins is also teaching more than the game of football. He's also teaching them about the game of life and how to be successful in it as well.

"He asked us a question the other day, 'what do you want?'," said the 6-0, 235-pounder. "You write it on paper and work at it every day. Every day you have to work and work to get to that point, what you want to do, what you want in life. So, he has taught us to continue to go after it. That's what he has taught us in life."

Being one of the few veterans among the linebackers, Wilson has to teach as he continues to learn.

"With (freshmen) Ferlando Bohanna and Christian Holmes being behind me I have to bring those guys along based on what I have learned the past three years," said Wilson, who has played in 18 games the past two seasons while recording 22 tackles (17 solo). "You want to help them so they don't make the same mistakes you did. So, it's always teaching while you are learning at the same time. Really, it's more teaching than learning because I kind of have the basics down, so I'm trying to get them ready. And they are extremely capable of playing in the SEC."

Not only is he teaching but he's trying to set an example by being one of the leaders on the team.

"Being a leader is me, that's my personality," said Wilson. "Honestly, I was a leader in the weight room and I was a leader behind Chris White."

As a leader, he's going to make sure the young guys work hard not only in the spring but during the summer as well. He realizes, as a veteran, what lies ahead for them and he's going to do his best to make sure they are prepared for it.

"To get better, you have to get down and get in the fire, but it's also about watching film, watching formations," said Wilson. "So, one of the things I will try to do is get them in the film room during the summer. We will also work with them on their technique. That's a great way to help them. Then, when they get out on the field they'll see things and be able to react. That keeps it from being so hard to adjust to the game."

The film room work will be a little more unique at times this summer thanks to something that Collins has in store for them.

"Something else that Coach Collins will have us do (on our own is) get in the big (film) room, put up formations that we have on a tape and actually react to the play," said Wilson. "We will be able to read the formation and watch where the running back goes and we will react. It's actually like playing, although not with 60,000 fans at Davis Wade Stadium. I think that will help us a lot going into the fall."

Speaking of the fall, the enthusiasm among fans after a great season that ended with a 52-14 victory over Michigan in the Gator Bowl is high. Wilson believes there is legitimate reason for that enthusiasm with next year's team.

"I think the potential of this team is real high," said Wilson, who had a career high of 4 tackles (3 solos) in the bowl game. "We just have to continue to improve on the things that we didn't do well last year so we can get to the top, and, hopefully, get to (the SEC Championship Game in) Atlanta."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the 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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