Clarence McDougal interview.
Was it a surprise when you were awarded the privilege of wearing a Black Jersey in practice?
"That was a great surprise. That shows you that the coaches think I'm working hard and doing things right."
When you saw your jersey number, what went through your head?
"I was proud. I was very proud. That showed that I'm doing something right. I just have to keep doing it so that I can help this team."
Was it emotional considering how far you have come the past few years since your injury?
"It was a little emotional."
Receiving the Black Jersey almost puts a bulls-eye on your back.
"That means you have to work harder and be one of the best. So I have to be one of the best everytime that I come out here. I have to lead by example and do everything right."
Jason Clark interview.
When you saw your jersey number in Coach Sherrill's hands, what went through your mind?
"When I saw the first one, I was kind of anxious, like anybody would be. Getting an award lets you know you have done well. When I finally saw my number I almost broke down because it is my last year and I wanted to reach that status. I wanted the guys to know I wasn't just a vocal leader but a leader by my actions. I come out here and practice hard everyday. I guess it paid off."
You've been moved from linebacker to defensive end during the preseason practice. What's your opinion of those moves?
"I'm not the type guy who is going to be selfish. Whatever the coaches need me to play, that's what I will play. I come out here and give 110% no matter what position I play. I listen to the coaches and I learn my playbook."
Now that Kamau Jackson is back, does it matter to you whether you stay at defensive end or move back to linebacker?
"No, it doesn't matter. Wherever they need me, I'll be there. If they need me to go back to linebacker, I'll go back to that position. If they want me to stay at d-end, I'll play at d-end. With Kamau back that just adds depth to our team. It also adds a great athlete back to our team."
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