You came to Mississippi State the second summer session. Why did you decide to attend State early?
"I wanted to get up here and get used to everything so I would know where to go. Plus, I wanted to get up here and work out with (MSU assistant strength) Coach (Brian) Neal."
Have you worked as hard you did under Coach Neal?
"No, definitely. When you work with him you just grind the entire time. There are not any breaks. You just hustle everywhere. And you do a bunch of different lifts that I have never really done before that hit all the muscles of your body. The overall soreness was a lot more than I was used to."
How long did it take for you to get used to the workouts?
"When I got here in the summer it took me about a week to get used to them."
Does that lifting help you in the 4-on-1s with the coaches?
"Yes sir, it does. When I came here I was in the low l70s. So, I've gained about 10 pounds. Now, I feel a lot more relaxed when I throw. I can get a little more behind the ball than I used to."
Coach Thompson uses a string in the bullpens as a way to help pitchers keep their pitches down in the zone. What kind of adjustment did you have to make when you first started throwing to the string in your bullpens?
"I just had to hit (the string) more. I kept the ball low sometimes but I like to work it up but that's how you get hit. Being here helps me continue to get extension and keep the ball down. That will improve my pitching a lot."
Have how you done so far?
"I think I have done a pretty good job. Most of my bullpens are around the string. A couple of times I was above it."
What has it been like working with Coach Thompson? And what are some things that you have learned from him?
"It has been awesome. He has taught me how to think more as a pitcher, just not getting up there and throw. He stresses your process. I go through my process every pitch. That has helped me get more consistent."
What do you mean when you say process?
"It is what you do each time you are on the mound. For me, my process is I like to get set and comfortable on the mound. I don't like pitching if my feet aren't comfortable and I like to breath and make sure I'm set and ready to go. Then, I get my focal point on where I want to start a pitch."
Does Coach Thompson help you develop that process or does it learn your process and makes sure you follow it consistently?
"You have to tell him what your process is. He makes sure you are consistent with it. I actually wrote it down and gave it to him. I had never really thought about it. I just naturally did it."
You had a great season last year. And it sounds like you were still more of a thrower than you were a true pitcher. How has Coach Thompson helped you become more of a pitcher.
"I was more of a pitcher than most people in juco. But Coach Thompson just kind of helped me take that next step. You can watch most hitters in BP and tell how many of the 10 balls that they hit would actually be hits. I learned that if you fill up the strikezone it will be much better for your pitching. I attacked that in juco and it worked pretty well for me."
What pitches do you throw?
"I will throw a fastball, a changeup, and we are working on a slider. I have always thrown a two-seam fastball but we are thinking about me throwing a four-seam if I lose my accuracy on the two-seam. That will help me re-establish the strikezone. The slider has been working really good for me so far."
What role has Coach Thompson talked to you about filling on this pitching staff?
"Right now we are looking at starting. Hopefully, that is how it turns out."
What do they want to do with you during the fall scrimmages?
"Right now they want me to start and kind of piggyback with another pitcher. I would start one time, he would come behind me, then he would start the next time and I would come behind him."
What has it been like to be at Mississippi State? Has it been more than you expected or about what you expected?
"It is a little more. You always hear about how great of a program it is, how the coaches are good and the guys are good. But when you get here you realized that they are very good. And everyone is fun to be around."
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 email@example.com.