ScoutTV: Kivon Coman Interview

ScoutTV: Mississippi State sophomore safety Kivon Coman talks one-on-one with Gene's Page.

I wasn't going to mention this but you are one of the most cut up guys that I have ever seen. Every guy would like to look like you (laugh). How do you develop like that?
"(Laugh) I just work hard, just work hard. That's what I do."

I think some ot it is you are genetically inclined to look like that, right?.
"(Laugh) I think I came out of the womb like that."

Let's talk about this team. There has been a lot of hype about this defense. Why do you think it will be as good as the hype is about it?
"I think our expectations are high. We hold each other accountable. We play beside each other. We know what everybody else has to do and where everybody has to be. I think this year is just different. Everybody has a different mindset. Everybody is focused. Everybody wants to get to the same place, we are on the same mission. I think that helps a lot with this team."

But it's not just expectations and hard work but this team also has experience, leadership, depth, talent. It has to thrill you to see so many great players, so much talent, so much depth, so much leadership throughout the defense.
"When we have practices it's not such a thing as 1s, 2s and 3s, we are all the same. We prep like that. The way we practice is the way that we are going to play. If we practice fast, we are going to play fast. I think the leaders help us out because in the summer they were the top leaders. Benardrick (McKinney), Dak (Prescott), they come to work every day. When you see guys like that, guys who have been around the program so long, you want to be just like them. You want to have the same mentality as them, you want to have the same drive that they have. I think everybody bought into that during the summer and it will continue on into the season."

Last year was your first year. How do you feel you have improved from last year to this year?
"I have improved a lot. I have become a student of the game, just knowing what I have to do and what everybody else has to do. Even though I know it, I still go over my playbook. I still look over things that I need to look over. And I think that has helped me out a lot during the year."

Your position coach is Tony Hughes. He's a veteran coach. What are some things that you have learned from him?
"One thing about Coach Hughes is he is a teacher. He doesn't just tell you, he teaches you how to do everything. With him doing that, that helps out a lot. Because, with me, if you tell me to do something I am going to do it, but I (may not) do it the way you want it done. But if you show me how to do it then I will do it like that. But by him teaching me how to do it, that helps me out a lot."

When you first came in and worked under him for a month or two did you think to yourself I know almost nothing because this guy knows so much?
"I felt like I was starting all over again. I felt like everything was different, different names for everything, different back pedals, different everything. What Coach Hughes taught me helped a lot. I am a totally different player than I was last year."

Are you totally comfortable with everything now? Is it second nature to you now?
"Second nature. When I first came in played corner. Then it was a hard transition when Jay (Hughes) went down (due to injury) in the first game (of the 2013 season) and they moved me to safety. Now I feel real comfortable at safety right now. "

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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