[Premium site article] Defensive lineman Kahlil Nash is a player who has an interesting story. Nash says he did not really get into football until the 11th grade. Before that he had been playing basketball for his high school, and this is what actually got him onto the gridiron.

"Football was easier," Nash said. "I thought the conditioning and play of football was easier, that's what got me started playing in the 11th grade." Nash was a letter winner of both football and basketball in high school, but realized his true calling was in the trenches.

Kahlil helped his team to a state championship during his junior year in high school, and he wants to bring some of the experience to MSU. Nash said, "I'm an underclassmen, so the seniors have a bigger advantage over me. Hopefully I can help the team."

Growing up in Pennsylvania, Nash said there is not much difference in the styles of football between there and down south. "It's hard-nosed and that's what I like," Nash said. "But football is football, no matter where you are."

It was not until Arizona Western Junior College that Nash became such a defensive stalwart. He was actually one of the higher rated tight ends in the country at the end of his high school career, but made the change to defensive line when he moved out west. He was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association first-team all-America team for his efforts his sophomore year.

Nash came to MSU from Arizona Western with two of his good friends, Dannie Snyder and Michael Oyefesobi. Nash and Snyder are actually roommates here at MSU.

Nash said, " It's good to have those guys here with me. It wouldn't be the same without them. I'm glad there was someone that I knew when I got here. Snyder is out right now (recovering from minor surgery)) but he is trying to come back."

With such a rough start for the team in his first season here, Kahlil said he is more confused than disappointed. "We don't really know what is going to happen," Nash said. "I'm just trying to make the most of my playing time and do what I can to contribute. My goal was to be newcomer of the year, but it does not look like that is going to happen. I just want to take advantage of the time I get in the game."

Kahlil said he wants the fans to know that he is going to play hard on the field. "I'm going to put on a show," he said. "I want people to watch me because I want to give them a show."

Even when he is not out on the field, Nash said he is always focused on football. He is always thinking about the game in some capacity. This helps him stay focused on the game and putting on that show for the fans. It seems to be working, as Nash currently has 18 stops on the season, with four tackles for losses and one sack.

Even though the football team has gone through some hard times, Nash is still getting out there and playing hard. He just wants to get out there, make some plays, and give the fans something to see. If his playing time increases, his goal of newcomer of the year might not be too farfetched. No matter what happens this season, it is clear that Kahlil Nash has been a positive addition to the defense of the Bulldogs.

Hank Allen is a free-lance correspondent for Gene's Page. Hank is a student at Mississippi State University. He is also a reporter for the student newspaper, The Reflector. You can contact him by email at jha1@msstate.edu.

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