Otis, I know you've lost quite a bit of weight since the spring. What did you weigh and what do you weigh now?
"When I started losing my weight, I weighed 352. Right now, I'm weighing in at 333."
What are you trying to get down to?
"Hopefully, by the start of the season, 315. If not, at least in the low 320's."
When did you last weigh that much?
"Around November of my senior year."
Do you feel that is your ideal playing weight?
"Yes, I went back and watched some film and loved the way I looked. I could tell that my movement was better back then."
Have you noticed a difference since you lost the 19 pounds?
"Yeah, I've noticed a big difference. It seems as though I'm in better condition and everything is falling in line. I can do my drills better. I don't get tired as easily. I have also started winning most of my races."
Do you, Monte Collins and Johnny Wadley still run together in the afternoon like you did during the spring?
"We run, play basketball or hit the threadmill or the bike, anything to keep our heat rates up in the afternoon. We do that once a day, everyday for an hour."
You were moved from the defensive line to the offensive line. How do you like moving to offense?
"It was a pretty smooth transition. I had a good coach, so that made it a lot easier. I'm still a defensive player at heart, but I've learned the trade of offense and I'm enjoying it more and more everyday."
You were moved to offensive guard and, I believe, wound up on the first string due to injuries during the spring. Where do you fit into the depth chart now that everybody is healthy?
"Right now, I'm second string behind Brad Weathers, but the coaches emphasizes that the second stringer is just as good as the first stringer because he is right behind the first stringer and one play can make the difference. So, I'm keeping myself ready."
What's it like playing for offensive line coach Steve Campbell?
"He has a lot of experience. Winning a national championship in college, regardless of what division you play in, is a great feat. You can't say enough about him. He works us hard and makes sure we hustle no matter what we are doing. He wants us to be like running backs in offensive linemen's bodies." (Coach Campbell led Delta State to a national title as the head coach.-Gene).
What part of your game do you feel you still need to work on so that you will be prepared to face SEC competition?
"My lower body strength. My center of gravity is already pretty good, but if I can get stronger in my lower body, I feel I can pretty much move any D-lineman out as far as one on one run-blocking or pass-blocking."
Talking about your strength, what were your lifts in the spring Iron Dawg competition?
"My bench was 420 and my squat was 545."
What do you hope to reach on the squat?
"I hope to lift over 600 by next year. If not, 545 is still pretty good."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher and owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial site for Mississippi State sports since October, 1996. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org