Sophomore DE Deljuan Robinson
How much do you weigh?
You've lost 6 pounds. Are you trying to lose more?
"Yeah, I'm trying to get down to 280 to 285. I'm trying to get down a little bit so that I can move a little better."
What do the coaches want you to get down to?
"They want me to get down to 285, but I'm trying to get down to 280. I'll be satisfied with anywhere in that area."
Do you feel losing the weight has increased you quickness?
"There's no doubt that I'm quicker. Now, I'm just trying to work on endurance."
Running seems to have been hard for you in the past, but you seem to have overcome that this year.
"You have to have a good attitude about it and just run. You just have to be focused and run to the best of your ability. I want to be a good football player, so I have to do the things they do. I have to be conditioned well. I know if I'm in good condition, I will play well."
Was running hard for you even in high school?
"It's always been hard, but especially these last two year because I have picked up so many pounds. Coming out of high school, I was 270, then I got up to 300 pounds. That's what really hurt me. I would love to get back to 270, but I doubt that I will."
What does Coach Haley want you to improve this coming season?
"Going hard every play. I have a tendency where I play 3 or 4 hard, get a little winded, then slack up a little bit. It's all about endurance. I need to play an entire series full-speed, play every snap full-speed. Work on playing every snap. That's my goal."
Junior QB Kyle York
You had a shoulder operation. How is the rehab coming along?
"I feel like I'm doing well. I'm pretty much doing everything in the weight room that I used to do at almost the same strength as I was. There are a few lifts that isolate the rotator cuff that aren't worth the risks. But as far as bench pressing, incline, military and all the things that really isolate the shoulder, I'm done well. I'm almost back to where I was a year and a half ago before the injury came about."
What was the injury?
"I developed a slight tear in my rotator cuff and a tear in about 25% of the cartilage around the shoulder."
How did it affect you last year?
"From the second day of two-a-days through the season, there wasn't a day where I felt 100%. It was something that I had to work through. Despite the pain and hardship, I feel I'm better off having gone through it."
How many passes are you throwing each day?
"The number of passes varies from day to day. What we are doing is throwing full-speed routes to the running backs, receivers and tight ends."
Long or short routes?
"Long, short and everything in between. The quarterbacks, receivers and the rest of the offensive skill players have been really good about doing that even after we run."
What do you still lack in regard to your shoulder?
"The biggest thing is to develop endurance. I feel the strength is just about there. But as far as me being able to throw 5 or 6 days a week, that is going to be my biggest challenge and something that I will continue to have to work on the next seven weeks."
What is the minimum and maximum number of passes you throw a day?
"100 is a minimum. If we are throwing the deep out and the comeback, we may throw 100 that day. If we are throwing slants and quick outs, then we may throw 150 or more. We thrown 4 to 5 days a week."
Have you noticed any soreness or stiffness?
"There is a little bit of soreness, but with the rehab that I do - which is a lot of ice and exercises that promotes stability and endurance - that has helped me out."
Do you know what percentage you have reached with your rehab?
"Yesterday, I threw a lot of routes and felt about 90%. There are some routes that I throw that I believe I am 100%. But, for me, it is relative to how much we get the timing down with each receiver. Every receiver runs a different style of route. It's the same route but the timing is slightly different for each guy. Throwing so many passes is great for that."
Do you think you might actually become stronger than you were before due to all the extra work you are having to put in to rehab your shoulder?
"Eventually, it might be stronger. For the average person, coming off my surgery, it takes a year before they are 100%."
Has there been ways this injury has helped you in other aspects of you game?
"It has allowed me to concentrate on my quickness and endurance. It has allowed me to understand the importance of film work and the playbook. More than anything, it has allowed me to lead from a different perspective, to lead from the sidelines instead of from the huddle. It was very humbling, but it has taught me a lot about what the responsibilities of a leader are. Leadership is more than just throwing touchdown passes, it extends to what we do in the weight room, on the practice field and in the classroom."
Gene Swindoll is the owner/publisher of Gene's Page, the source for Mississippi State sports on TheInsiders.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.