You have really been impressive catching the ball in practice. Are you feeling good about your play, so far?
"Yes sir. I'm trying to learn all the wide tight end plays. I've been playing the H tight end. There are a lot of plays to learn, but I'm starting to get the hang of it now."
I also noticed that you are good about catching the ball even when covered really well or when you get hit after catching the ball.
"If you let hits bother you, you will never be a good receiver. You just have to concentrate on the ball and then run after catching it."
You mentioned wide tight end earlier. Is the wide tight end more of a receiving tight end?
"There are both about equal, but the H is in there less. If you want to play, of course you have to go for that wide position. That's what I decided I needed to do."
Tight end is really a new position for you because you really didn't play it that much in high school, did you?
"No sir. I only played about 3 games of tight end my senior year of high school. I played quarterback the rest of the time."
Has Coach Lewis told you where they hope to have you fit in this year? "Right now, they want to have me in on a lot of passing plays, but I'm working for the (starting) spot. I just hope to do what I can and he will fit me in. If somebody does their job, they will fit you in."
How has your blocking come along?
"My blocking is coming along, but I'm not as good at it as I want to me. That's something that Coach Lewis told me that I have to work on it. I feel I can do a good job at it, but I'm not there yet."
I know you've gained quite a bit of weight. What do you now weigh?
"Right before practice, I weighed 246."
What do you want to get up to?
"I would like to eventually get up to 255, but I don't want to do it too quickly and lose speed."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher and owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial site for Mississippi State sports since October, 1996. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org