Did you set any kind of goals at the end of spring such as gaining weight or gaining strength or any other goals?
"After the spring concluded, I was mainly focusing on gaining weight and getting in top-notch condition. Those were the two things I was most focused on. Strength was a big issue, but I felt that would come with gaining weight."
Are you where you want to be in regard to those goals?
"I'm not there yet, but I'm well on my way. We have a required weight that we are supposed to weigh when we report. I'm not there yet, but I'm close."
What do you weigh?
What do the coaches want you to weigh?
Do you have a long-term weight goal?
"Right now, I should be about 245, but in the long run I hope to get up to 250 to 255 with minimum body-fat."
What was your body-fat the last time they checked?
"The last time they did it I was at 10%. That was during the spring. Due to all the lifting and running that we have done this summer, I'm guessing that it has gone down some."
With the running that you are having to do in the hot Mississippi summer, has it been difficult to gain weight?
"It's slowly progressing. It's not easy to gain, but I'm handling it pretty good."
Do you feel you are ready to play in the SEC after redshirting your true freshman year?
"The SEC is a very demanding conference. I believe I'm ready. I'm getting the physical part down. I just don't know how the mental part will be. Hopefully, I will get used to the mental toughness of it. Only the best get to play in the SEC."
During your freshman season, what did you learn about the SEC?
"I learned that it is very competitive and that you have to really pay attention to the details. It's really all about working hard. If you want to be the best in the SEC, you have to work hard everyday. That's the bottom line."
Did your position coach, Freddie Kitchens, talk to you about what his goals are for you this coming season?
"He didn't mention any particular goals, but he wanted me to come to summer school so that I could work hard and get bigger. I thought the same thing."
What do you feel are your strengths and weaknesses as a tight end?
"My catching ability and my field awareness are my strengths. My weaknesses are my blocking technique and my explosiveness off the line of scrimmage."
What do you think about the West Coast offense?
"I really like it because they use the tight ends a lot. They throw to the tight ends quite often in this offense."
Didn't you make academic freshman honors this past season?
"Yes, I saw that on the internet. I made the 2004 SEC Freshman Honor Roll."
You were a good student in high school also. Was making the SEC honor roll list important to you?
"I was very glad that I made it. I didn't expect it. It just showed me that if I can make it my freshman year, I can make it throughout my career as long as I continue working hard in the classroom."
What are you majoring in?
"Computer science. I want to get something out of college other than sports. Because of that, I'm in a good academic field."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on TheInsiders.com sports network. You can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.