A Q&A With OT Martinas Rankin

A Q&A with Mississippi State junior offensive tackle Martinas Rankin.

When you guys are in your position meeting who is the one that is helping show you the way?
"I think everybody is. The guys pull me to the side and tell me what Coach likes on certain plays, giving me all kind of advice."

What specifically do the veterans do to help you?
"Ever since I came in on day one, they have been hard on me just like the coaches have been hard on me."

What has it been like playing for MSU offensive line coach John Hevesy?
"It is fun. It has its good moments and it has its great moments. I got used to him during recruiting. Now, I meet with him just about every other day. We have a good relationship."

How difficult has it been to come in here as a junior college All-American and be a second and third team offensive lineman during spring practice?
"It is a humbling experience but something that you have to learn from. You have to realize those days are in the past. Now, you are just like everybody else. You just have to keep grinding and keep working everyday so that you can do the things that you did in juco to become an All-American."

What are your goals this spring?
"Just keep picking up the technique, learning what to do, how to do it and why to do it."

Are you focusing on both tackle spots on the O-line or are you focusing on the right tackle position only?
"Right now, I am focusing on one spot. The left tackle position just kind of comes natural to me, so I'm just trying to learn the right. I'm trying to learn it so that I can contribute to the team."

You came to Mississippi State after playing at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. What has the adjustments been like going from junior college ball to SEC ball?
"It has been an adjustment but coming out of juco ball you have a step forward (on the freshmen). But at the same time, there is a lot to pick up, a lot to learn as far as technique and speed is concerned."

Of all of the adjustments that you have had to make, what has been the toughest?
"For me, picking up the technique. At this level technique is very, very important. It is not like juco where you can play off of natural ability."

Is learning technique an accelerated process for you since junior college players are usually expected to play their first year?
"It is. You have to keep putting in extra work in the film room, extra work in practice working on technique."

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 swindoll@genespage.com.

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