"I was really impress with his demeanor. When he came in, he was very business like. He is a guy that is going to take care of business, as we saw from his demeanor from the press conference. He is a guy that wants to get the job and is going to get the job done. Most importantly, he will be involved in developing our character. He wants us to have a winning attitude, on and off the field. The most important thing is you have to win off the field to win on the field. That means you have to be very disciplined in whatever you are asked to do as far as the classroom, relationships with our parents and friends. He seems like a guy that really wants to develop character. That is what we are looking good. I am really looking forward to it."
Coach Croom presence is so large, it's hard for me to see him getting down and dirty on the practice field like coaches have to do. Can you see him getting down and dirty?
"Oh yeah, I can see that. He is a guy that is going to take care of business. This is a guy who demands respect and we are going to give him that respect. He left his comfort zone in the NFL and we know this guy knows what he is talking about. He has been tutored by some of the greatest coaches of all time. Seventeen years in the NFL, that speaks for itself. Playing for and coaching with Bear Bryant, that speaks for itself. The guy knows what he is talking about."
As far as discipline is concerned, do you think it will be his way or the highway?
"Let me give you a small analogy. Anytime you are in a business, whether you are working for someone or whatever, if you aren't doing your part of the deal, then something is not right. Because of that, the person you work for has to take action. So, if we aren't doing our part, he should take action."
On a more personal level, you are a young black man who will be going into coaching when you graduate from Mississippi State, how significant is it to see that the new head football coach at Mississippi State is another black man?
"It is a great move for the nation, for college football in particular, especially in the SEC, one of the most prestigious conferences in America. It is amazing.
"On a more personal level, it means a lot to me because I want to be a head coach at a university some day. It gives me a plateau. I look forward to my career. I am happy that someone has had a chance to open the door for everybody else. I can look at him and know that I can achieve it. Although I already had it in my head I was going to achieve it anyway because of the type person that I am."
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.