Anthony Strauder Talks About First Day of Practice

After sitting out his freshman year, Anthony Strauder, if all things go as planned, will be lining up as one of the two starting offensive guards for the Bulldogs when they play their first game of the season. Anthony talked about that, as well as a few other things at the end of Thursday's practice.

One of the things I noticed about Thursday's practice was the conditioning aspect of the players. After working out all summer to build up their conditioning for practice, the pace of the practice wore some of the players down, at least a little. Did that surprise Anthony?

"It's just that the tempo is a lot faster and more demanding - everything is high speed, a lot of effort and finishing," said Anthony. "During the summer, you get a break between things, but in practice it is always ticking."

As MSU head strength coach Jim Nowell has told me several times, he wants to make sure the players are in practice shape. Only practices can get a player in game shape. Anthony basically said the same thing.

"Nothing can compare you for the physical nature of football," said the 6-4, 300-pounder. "When you are out here and going against your teammates everyday, your body is wearing down. It's not like running up and down the field and doing sprints."

Speaking of getting in shape, one of the things that I've noticed about this year's offensive line is how much weight they have lost over the course of the past year. Anthony explains the reasoning behind that.

"I think all of us on the offensive line have made great strides with our weight because we know we have to be in great shape," he said. "We don't have a lot of depth and have a lot of young guys, so we know we are going to have to be in great shape because we are going to have to play a lot of snaps this year."

And there is no doubt that he will personally receive a lot of snaps after moving from the defensive side of the ball to the offensive side. And earning a starting spot to boot.

"I'm both excited and nervous, but I look forward to the challenge (of starting)," said Anthony. "That is what I hoped for when I came here. I'm just going to try and do the best so that I can to hold onto it."

Some guys think the defensive line is one of the more glamour parts of the game. Because of that, they don't always like it when they are moved from there to the offensive line. Did it bother Anthony when that happened to him?

"It didn't really bother me, because (head) Coach (Sly) Croom and (offensive line) Coach (J.B.) Grimes know more about coaching than I do," said Anthony. "And they told me that I have better potential to play guard at the NFL level."

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

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