Last season you were hurt for part of the season. When did you get hurt?
"It was about the last scrimmage (of the pre-season practices). I tore my hamstring and was out for about two weeks. Due to being injured, I got behind the other players, so I accepted the role that I had."
Was that role mainly on special teams?
Was there any of redshirting you due to the injury?
"There really wasn't that much said about it. And I didn't think much about it either, at that time. I was just frustrated."
When did you finally get to where you were 100% healthy? Was it prior to the spring?
"Somewhat, but I was still going to rehab, trying to get my leg stronger."
Obviously, you impressed the coaches because you wound up with a starting cornerback position and earning the right to wear the Black Jersey during the spring?
"I think it was the early morning workouts in February that did it. I think I became the same type player that I was coming out of junior college."
When did you realize you were one of the starters at cornerback?
"Probably a week or two into the early morning workouts."
What did your position coaches say they liked about you that caused them to move you to number 1?
"They like my quickness. Plus, I'm one of the older players in the secondary and they like my leadership."
You mentioned that you are one of the veterans in the secondary. What are your thoughts about all the freshmen that have come in this season?
"They have a lot of talent. With a little coaching and teaching, they are going to be ready. I'm trying to help all of them."
The guy opposite you is true freshman Quinton Culberson. What is your impression of him?
"He is big, stong, has good feet, good movement. And he is really smart, football-wise. He recognizes the situation we are in and the formations. That really helps him out."
Quinton is a very physcial player who is a hard hitter. Although you aren't as big as him, do you consider yourself a hard-hitting type cornerback.
"Somewhat. If given an opportunity, I'm going to hit you."
You earned the Black Jersey in the spring and now in the pre-season practices. T. J. Mawhinney also earned one during the spring but hasn't earned one during the fall due to his injury. That makes you the only two-time Black Jersey player.That's a pretty good honor.
"It is, but T. J. has also gotten his. He got it yesterday. He kind of got slowed down due to the injury, but he has come back pretty strong; the same way he was during the spring."
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.