As a redshirt freshman you are competing for the starting left offensive tackle position at an SEC school. Are you ready for that type challenge?
"Yes, I feel like I am ready. I have my confidence up right now so I feel like I can take that spot. But it's going to be a good battle."
I know the summer workouts were taken to another level this summer. You are fairly new to the summer workouts, only going through one of them coming into this summer. How was it different to you?
"There was a lot more running. I feel like I'm in much better shape now after being in the heat running all summer. I feel like I can last longer on the field now."
Doing all the running did you lose weight during the summer?
"I actually gained weight, finally."
How much did you gain and how much do you weigh now?
"The last time I checked I was 297, 298. Last year I weighed 275 to 280."
How did you gain so much weight while running?
"Gaining weight was kind of like my second job. I had to sit around and eat a lot of carbs and other stuff."
Going back to competing for the left tackle spot, you go against some of the best defensive linemen in the SEC every day in practice. How much does that help you?
"It helps a lot. It gets you ready for the games. And it actually kind of makes the games a little bit easier, going against a D-line like ours."
Obviously, you will play this year. There's no more redshirt years. Are you ready for that?
"I'm ready for it. I've been here long enough to have learned the system. I have my technique down pat. The only thing left is to win this battle against big James (Carmon). We'll just have to see how that goes."
How has some of the veteran offensive linemen like Addison Lawrence and Quentin Saulsberry helped you prepare for this season?
"They kind of took the leadership role of the offensive line. They made sure we got to the meeting room. They made sure we went outside and worked on our technique. They kind of took that leader role to a whole new level. And it has helped our offensive line out a lot."
What are your team and personal goals this season?
"The team goal is to get to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. My personal goals are probably to get that left tackle starting spot and to protect Chris (Relf), Tyler (Russell) and the rest of the quarterbacks."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.