Sophomore Kicker Keith Andrews
Are you doing anything different the second summer session compared to the first summer session?
"No, we are still running and doing cone drills on Tuesday and Thursday. And we are still working out three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We are also running on two of those days. So, it didn't really changed. It just seemed like the tempo picked up when more people came back.
How much time do you spend working out each day?
"We are working out about 1 hour each Tuesday and Thursday. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we are working out about an hour and fifteen minutes. And on Monday and Friday we stay after and run for about 30 more minutes."
Is there a different feeling among the players than it was last summer?
"Absolutely. It just seems like the team's attitude is positive. Everybody is ready to win. Everybody shows up excited everyday to do the running and lifting, even though it may not be that fun to do."
What has caused the excitement?
"New coaches definitely had something to do with it. The new workout coach also has a lot to do with it because of his good attitude everyday. But I think everybody is tired of the funk that we have been in and everybody is ready to start winning games."
Individually, what are you trying to improve?
"I'm trying to get in shape and slim down a little bit. I'm also working on my kicking, trying to get my timing down. Those are really the main things that I want to do."
Coach Amos Jones is known as a kickers coach. How has he helped you with your kicking?
"He gives me a lot of personal attention. During the spring, he came over and worked with us everyday, making sure our times were right. He also cares a lot about us and what we are doing. It makes a difference having our own (position) coach. I really like that."
Did he notice any little things that you may have been doing incorrectly?
"Just my timing. I was going a little fast. He got me to relax in my stance and that helped my times. It really wasn't major things, just a couple of little things like that. That helps out a lot in the end."
How did last year's starter, Brent Smith, help you improve as a kicker?
"Watching him while I stood on the sidelines helped my mental mindset of the kicking game."
You are the guy this year. There is no Brent Smith. How does it feel knowing you are the starter this year?
"I'm not feeling any pressure because I have been waiting to do this all my life. I have been working out and running for two years waiting to kick. I'm ready to go. I'm not nervous. I'm excited and ready to win some football games."
What are your strengths as a kicker?
"I think my strong point is leg strength."
Other than winning games, what are your goals this year?
"I would like to get as many touchbacks as I can, possibly over 50%. I would like to lead the SEC in touchbacks this year."
Senior OG Will Rogers
[The SEC preseason All-SEC team hadn't been released at the time I did this interview with Will.-Gene]
I know you are trying to lose weight. How much do you weigh and what are you trying to get down to?
"I weigh 327 and I'm trying to get down to 320."
According to MSU strength and conditioning coach Jim Nowell, you have really been a leader when it comes to the workouts. Talk a little about that.
"I feel like it is up to me to lead by example. If the younger guys see me running hard, they will do the same thing."
You mentioned that you currently weigh 327. Has it been difficult running while carrying that much weight?
"No, it has actually been going pretty good. I'm been running real good. If I lose more, than I will do ten times better."
Why has running become so much easier to you?
"I am in the best shape of my life. I can run for a long time and not get tired at all."
Is that partly due to the new strength and conditioning coach?
"I think that is a lot of it. My endurance has gone up because we run after we lift."
What are some things you are trying to work on this summer?
"I'm trying to work on my quickness. I play basketball on the weekends. That definitely helps my foot quickness. I really work out seven days a week."
With the suspensions that have occurred since Coach Croom has come in, have those helped or hurt the team?
"I think they have helped in a positive way. The guys have seen that Coach Croom is serious about discipline. They look at Nick (Turner) and know that they don't want to end up in the same situation as him."
As a senior, what are your team goals?
"That we play as a family and come together and experience how it feels to win."
Gene Swindoll is the owner/publisher of Dawgs' Bite: Powered by GenesPage.com, the source for Mississippi State sports on TheInsiders.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.