You've been a Mississippi State Bulldog for over half your life. It must be a thrill for you to be back at MSU working in the football office?
"It is. It's something that I prayed about for a long time, the opportunity to come back and grace the sidelines again. I joke with some former players that if I could relive two ballgames they would be the Tennessee and the Alabama games. I would want to go back and make a wrong a right. But it is a blessing to be back here. I thank Coach Mullen, the president and the athletic director for giving me this opportunity.
"I've been a Bulldog half of my life and I take pride in being a Bulldog. Even if I wasn't working here at Mississippi State I'm going to be a Mississippi State Bulldog. This is where my home is, this is where I played, this is where my sweat and tears are. Even if I am fired tomorrow I am still going to do whatever is within my power to help this program get to where it deserves to be.
"Growing up you can't predict your future. But I love dealing with kids. I've being on the high school level for several years. Now it's time to move on to something else. I want to be able to be a coach on the sidelines on the college level. I took this job to help get me there.
"Once again I'm very thankful to Coach Mullen for giving me this opportunity."
What is your position in MSU football?
"My actual title is Recruiting Specialist. The specialist part I don't quite know about yet but we will get there (laugh).
"I'm working with Niel (Stopczynski) in recruiting. He's a great guy to work with. He's teaching me all the ropes. I'm working hand and hand with him. He's going to delegate me with the states of Mississippi and Georgia. Although I can't call anyone, kids can call me if they want to. I'll also have on-campus duties as well when recruits comes here for a visit. I'll show them around and make sure they have a great time here. Basically, what I want to do is make a kid feel like they are home even though they are away from home. Being a player here, I may know some things the coaches may not know. I know the town, the people, the do's the don'ts, what you want to eat, what you don't want to eat. I have insight about (Starkville) because my wife and I built our home here about 12 years ago. But I've actually been living in Starkville off and on for the last 20-some odd years.
"Starkville is my home and I'm glad to be back home. It's a joy to be back home. And it's a blessing to be able to grace these (Leo Seal, Jr. football complex) offices. I remember when we met in trailers behind the old fieldhouse. Now we have a Taj Mahal.
"The kids don't understand. I told Pork Chop (Womack) the other day they should have had some before and after pictures so these kids can see the hard work the boosters, fans and administrators have put into building this facility, really building things all-around campus.
"When you come up highway 25 you may get lost when you go into Starkville because you have highways all over going in and out of Starkville. That shows the progress that we have made throughout the years. That has helped make Mississippi State not only the best university in Mississippi but one of the best in the nation."
It's been over 20 years since you played here. You are now back. You see all these practice fields, the football office complex, the stadium expansion going on. What does that tell you about Mississippi State football?
"It shows the commitment of the fans. Without the fans there would be no dollars or revenue. It shows the commitment of the fans who come to the games. It shows that we have a strong backing. Having three back to back winning seasons shows the progression we are making here at Mississippi State. I can remember the time when Mississippi State won 6 ballgames and it was like we had conquered the world. Now we expect to win something like 8 ballgames and go to a bowl game. Then we want to win 10 ballgames, then win the SEC West, then win a championship. That is the progression we are trying to make. The foundation has been laid."
Does it make you feel good to see Mississippi State football players being hired to work in Mississippi State football? You have been hired and Pork Chop Womack is a graduate assistant in the MSU football office.
"You are the first person to ask me that question. And I've been wanting to talk about that for a long time. I have wondered how many former Mississippi State football players are coaching in college football. I can only recall one name, Rockey Felker. You can find Florida players, Texas players, Alabama players working in some capacity on the sideline. For Coach Mullen to start that trend speaks a lot about him. He didn't have to do that. He didn't know either one of us (Sleepy or Pork Chop) from Adam. But he wanted to start the trend. I thank him for doing that. And because of that I will work even harder for him."
Obviously, you love this university and you love MSU football. You played on the MSU football field. What do you think it will be like to run out of that tunnel for the first time and run onto that football field again with your Mississippi State shirt on? Will it be emotional for you?
"I'm pretty sure it will because I am a very emotional person at times. It will be a special moment for me because this is something that I have prayed about for years. I have wanted to grace those sidelines for 10 to 12 years now. It's a dream come true. It's kind of like when I got married. I wanted that woman for years. And she finally gave me the chance. Since then, I have been trying to make her happy ever since. That was a special moment for me and this will be a special moment for me as well. And I'm sure it will feel the same to Pork Chop."
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.