David Heard, Linzy Patterson and Joey Sanders

Returning football players David Heard, Linzy Patterson and Joey Sanders talked about the hopes and expectations that they have for the upcoming Mississippi State football season.<P> <h6>Pictured: David Heard</h6>

Sophomore DB David Heard

What's the feeling among the players with practice now underway?
"It's exciting. Everybody is eager and anticipating. I know I'm excited about practice."

As a player, I know you always want to be optimistic about the season, but have you really thought about it and been as realistic as possible about the upcoming season?
"We want to say we are going to do good, but we don't really know because we have a lot of learning to do with the new schemes. But we should be good."

Do you feel the team is stronger and in better condition due to the weight training and conditioning system that has been put in under Coach Jim Nowell?
"Yeah, definitely. I know I have gotten a lot stronger. It seems like everybody else has, also."

Individually, what is your hope this year?
"Do whatever I can to help the team. If I can come up with 8 picks this year, that would be good."

If you did that, you would be All-SEC this year (laugh).
"(Laugh) Yeah, probably so."

Freshman TE Linzy Patterson. Linzy signed with MSU in December, 2003 and went through spring practice.

What is your current height and weight?
"I am 6-3.5, 245. I was 205 when I graduated from high school."

What are your hopes for the upcoming season?
"Of course, team-wise, have a winning record. As for myself, I feel like I will be redshirted, so I just want to learn the offense and get settled down."

Are you ok with being redshirted?
"I haven't talked to Coach Croom, but I have no problem with it."

How much did you learn while going through spring practice.
"A lot. It was a big learning experience. Coming from high school to the college level was big because of the speed and how everything is played."

What does your position coach, Coach Kitchens, want you to work on during your redshirt season?
"Work on my blocking, learn the plays and the system."

What does he feel are your strengths?
"My catching ability and my footwork."

What is your opinion of the tight end position?
"We are a strong group. While we don't have a starter coming back, we are progressing and steadily getting better everyday."

What do you like about the tight ends that you are working with?
"We just help each other out. They are not afraid to help you out if you have a question about a play."

Redshirt freshman WR Joey Sanders

Did it surprise you when you saw that you had made first-team after the spring?
"It surprised me a lot. But I worked hard this spring and knew that I would finish on top."

When did you find out that you were first-team?
"I don't think anybody told me. I looked on the internet to see what was up. It kind of surprised me, but I'm going to try to keep it by working hard during fall practice."

What do you feel are your strengths?
"I'm a playmaker. (Plus) whatever they want, I'll do it. Even if it means going across the middle to catch a ball, I'll do it. Some receivers don't like doing that, but I like it."

What is your height and weight?
"I'm 6-1, 205."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com, the source for Mississippi State sports on TheInsiders.com sports network. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.

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