Senior Set For Junior Season

Justin Senior returns at right tackle after a solid sophomore campaign a year ago. The talented big man is one of two regular offensive line starters that return from a season ago, but Senior reports that Bulldog big men are primed an prepared for the 2015 season. While the Bulldogs must replace three starters along the forward well, the newly named starters are far from inexperienced.

Despite being an answer man for the Bulldog newcomers, Senior reports that he is far from a finished product. The personable standout reports that he is still learning all he can to perfect his craft.

"I am still asking questions," Senior said with a laugh. "Just because I am a veteran doesn't mean I have the game down pat. I have more experience, but there is still a lot that I want to do and a lot that I still have to learn. There are still so many things that I want to get better at."

Mississippi State offensive line coach John Hevesy has the reputation of being a very demanding coach. Senior reports that Hevesy has a standard that he expects all Bulldog offensive lineman to live up to. Despite being an upperclassman, Senior is expected to continue to grow and mature as a player.

"He wants me to be better at all I do," Senior said of Hevesy. "It's a constant process of becoming better. There is always room for improvement and he expects me to get better in every aspect of the game."

To make matters even more interesting, Hevesy was able to land the nation's top junior college offensive lineman, Martinas Rankin. Senior reports that the Bulldogs' new addition has come in, competed and pushed the returning players to better themselves.

"We're all tackles and we're all ones in my eyes," Senior said. "It makes us all solid, because we know that if someone needs to come out or someone needs to just get reps in that we have a talented guy ready to go. I have a lot of confidence in (Rankin)."

Senior has worked extremely hard to be bigger, faster and stronger as his college career has progressed. With a year as a starter now under his belt, Senior is making some solid strides towards his full potential.

"I feel like I have become a much smarter player," Senior said. "I feel like I am getting better game by game and that really never stops. I am working hard to get better in all areas and just getting experience has probably helped the most.

The Bulldogs had their first scrimmage of the fall last Thursday. Senior reports that the Bulldog offensive line received a solid review, but he saw some areas for improvement.

"Things went good. They went as expected," Senior said. "We're going to be fine. I think we just need everybody to come out and have confidence in what we're doing. Nobody needs to second guess themselves."

Ben Beckwith occupied the spot to Senior's left most of the season in 2014. Devon Desper is now holding that spot down as the Bulldogs prepare for Southern Miss. Senior has a lot of confidence in Desper who has been his linemate most of his career.

"We played next to each other the whole Texas A&M game," Senior said. "Last year, I was next to him on the twos until I became a one. Working with Desper is nothing new. Desper is awesome. We communicate well and we play well together."

Mississippi has become home for Senior who grew up in Canada dreaming of an American football future. A full continent away from his family, Senior has some extra incentive to push hard for team success. When the Bulldogs are winning, the folks across the northern border have the chance to watch on television.

"I only get to go home for about a month once a year," Senior said. "I try to go in December. My parents try to come down for a game or two when they can. They came for a game last year for the first time. It costs a lot to fly, so I don't want them to feel like they have to force themselves to come that often.

"It's on TV up there most of the time. The better we do, the more worldwide we get."

The Bulldogs once again be before a national audience in week one as they travel to Hattiesburg for the season opening contest. Senior believes his team will be ready.

"We just need to keep doing the things we have been doing," Senior said. "I have a lot of confidence in our offensive line. I have confidence in everybody. I am okay with whatever Coach Hevesy wants. If he is okay with the starting five, then I am okay with it too. I am just going to take care of my job."

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