A Q&A With Redshirt Freshman LB Matthew Wells

Mississippi State redshirt freshman outside linebacker Matthew Wells talks about adjusting to playing linebacker, starting back to school and playing in his first college football game.

  • Name: Matthew Wells
  • Position: Outside Linebacker
  • Classification: Redshirt Freshman
  • Ht and Wt: 6-2, 215
  • College: Mississippi State
  • High School: Lawrence County High School (Monticello, MS)
  • You came to Mississippi State as a running back. How have you adjusted to the new spot on defense?
    "It was a big adjustment because I came in to play running back on offense. But they wanted me on defense and we needed players (on defense) so I was willing to go over there for the team.

    "I had to work on the technique as far as tackling. But it's good to hit people instead of getting hit."

    Physically, did they ask you to gain weight. And if you did gain, how much?
    "I probably gained about 15 to 20 pounds. I came in at 196 and I'm up to 215."

    Are you where you need to be weight-wise or do you need to gain even more?
    "We are trying to ease up with the weight. (MSU strength) Coach (Matt) Balis does a great job of getting us to a certain weight. I let him control that. I just try to make the weight he gives me."

    What has been the toughest adjustment at linebacker?
    "The run fits, fitting the run down in the box. That has been the biggest adjustment that I had to make and work on. I'm a lot better at reading the reads now. And I'm hitting the hole a little faster."

    You've been practicing on the so-called South Farm. Tomorrow, you start back to being a regular student. What are your thoughts about that?
    "The farm is a good place. That is really where it goes down, where we have camp and two-a-days. We enjoyed it because it was the start of really playing football and getting back into it. With school, it starts tomorrow."

    How did the redshirt year help you?
    "It helped me a lot as far as adjusting to what they wanted me to play. It helped me to mature, gain weight and become mentally tougher. Coach Balis does a really great job with that with everybody that comes in. At first, I was doubting it but I think now it was a good thing."

    You redshirt last season. Now, you are about two weeks away from playing your first college game. What are your thoughts about that?
    "It's a lot to think about because I haven't played in an SEC game or even a college game. This will be my first game and I'm really excited about it. Of course I'm going to be nervous but I'm hear to play And I'm ready to go play, make plays and help the team win. And we are looking to have a big year."

    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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