Gerri Green, a 4-star linebacker as a senior in high school, redshirted his true freshman season at Mississippi State. And he took full advantage of the redshirt year by learning as much as he could from the other veteran linebackers such as Benardrick McKinney, Beniquez Brown and Richie Brown. He also worked hard in the weight room building his body up so that it would be ready for the grind that is SEC football.
How happy have you been with your decision to sign with Mississippi State?
"It is the best choice that I have made in my life. I am glad that I am a Bulldog. I am glad that I picked State from day one. I am happy with my decision."
You redshirted this past season. What did you learn during the season?
"I learned that you have to work hard. Hard work will get you wherever you want to go. If you want to succeed you have to work hard in practice and in the film room. That is what I learned by watching the older guys like Benardrick (McKinney), Beniquez (Brown), Preston (Smith) and Richie (Brown). Hard work pays off.
"My redshirt year I knew that I wasn't going to play on Saturday. So, instead, I put in the hard work at practice and the film room."
Knowing that you weren't going to play, what did you watch during the game?
"I was watching them from the sideline watching them go through all of the drills, watching steps and drops, and how they played. I repeated it over in my head so that it was like they were doing it in front of me."
Did you talk to those guys and ask them why they did specific things?
"All the time. When I didn't understand something or when I felt like I did something wrong on the field I would run to the sideline and find Benardrick and ask him what should I have done on the play. Then, he would give me an answer."
From the end of the season to the beginning of spring practice what were you trying to accomplish?
"I was watching film from last year. And I was watching Benardrick on the field. I was trying to understand it myself since he is no longer here. I was trying to figure out why he was doing this or doing that. That way, when I got back on the field I would know why he did certain things."
Since McKinney is not here now, how difficult is that for you?
"Beniquez is still here. I can ask him any question that I have. When I don't understand something I can go to him and ask a question."
How much of the playbook do you know now?
"I feel like I am comfortable with it. I'm not where I want to be and still have a long way to go. But I'm comfortable. But you can never be too good with the playbook."
How much did you weigh when you came in as a freshman and how much do you weigh now?
"I think I was 225 when I first stepped on campus. I am at 240 now."
With the added weight did you lose some of your speed?
"No, I didn't lose speed. I am still fast."
How did you retain your speed while gaining weight?
"It is due to the training program with (MSU strength) Coach Court. We have speed school. The stuff that we do doesn't let you lose speed. If anything, you should gain speed. Plus, I still have a low percentage of body fat. I didn't pick up any body fat. I just picked up more muscle."