What differences do you see in this defense compared to last year's defense?
"Last year we ran a lot of zone defense. Now, we are going to run a lot of man and press up and try to play physical football."
Does it fit your style of play better?
"Yeah, it fits my style better because, in high school, we played more cover-one defense than zone."
You played last year as a freshman. When did you become comfortable with college football? "I started feeling comfortable after the third game, when we played LSU. It just took me some time to get used to it."
Coach Croom has showed with his actions that discipline will be a strong point of his. How have you handled his strict discipline policy?
"I was brought up on discipline, so it's not that big of a factor for me. But, I think everybody going to class and getting their work done will make us a better team."
He mentioned that he wouldn't mind having the younger guys and the players who aren't doing well academically live on campus. Was that a big deal to you or did it not matter?
"I live on campus but it was a big deal to me. But Coach Croom only wants what is good for the team."
Have you seen a different attitude among the players since Coach Croom and his staff have come onboard?
"I've seen a different attitude. Everybody is happy, both on the offense and defense. It is going to be a great season this year."
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.