What happens now? Will this be the last camp prior to the season?
"Training camp (which starts July 25th) is where everything really counts. Coach Billick said everything you have done up to this point doesn't really matter. Training camp is where you have to perform - how you perform under different pressures and things like that. I really think what you did before matters but I'm sure what he is saying is you really need to buckle down because this is what is going to make or break you."
Have you been going up against the veterans in the other camps?
"Yeah, I have been going against (QB) Jeff Blake and (QB) Chris Redmond."
Do you know how many more cuts there will be?
"I think they will have some more cuts. They have already made some cuts. Some guys who were there the first time weren't there when we went back in May."
Do the thoughts of the cuts still to happen make you nervous?
"A little bit, but I can't let it worry me. Something will happen one way or the other. There are other teams. Like they say, you aren't just playing for Baltimore, you are playing for 31 other teams."
When is the first pre-season game?
"It is August 5th or 9th."
Will you play in that?
"Yeah, the (pre-season) games are what they will use to grade you, those and training camp."
The last time we talked you mentioned that your position coach said they would keep a certain number of defensive backs. Do you know how many DBs are presently on the roster?
"I think we have 14 and he said we may keep 10. He said he may keep 5 rookies. I think we have 8 or 9 rookies on the roster."
You should have a decent shot at making it then.
"Yeah. When he moved me from corner, he said I want you to get some experience at safety. When he told me that, I went to him and asked if I wasn't holding up at corner. He said, 'didn't you play that in college.' I said yes sir. He said, 'if you can play two positions that can help your chances.' I told him I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. The way I took it was he liked my performance and just wanted to see what I could do at safety, too."
Yeah, it sounds like they like your performance.
"I think so, but you never know. It is kind of like playing for Coach Dunn."
You think that playing for him has helped you?
"Oh yeah, I know it has. He said things to me that motivated me and he doesn't even know they motivated me."
I really wish you well, Shawn, as does all MSU fans and the folks in the MSU Athletic Department. Switching over to Marvin, do you know if he has academically qualified?
"Oh yeah, he is ready. Although it is not written in stone when he is coming, he is coming down to State before two-a-days. It will probably be in two more weeks, but we aren't really sure yet."
How did he do in the Texas-Oklahoma High School All-Star game? I know he won MVP defensive player, but how did he do stats-wise?
"I don't know how many tackles he made. It wasn't a whole lot, maybe 5 or 6, but he had a couple of knockdowns. He sacked the quarterback one time. Man, they sent him on a blitz, the quarterback was rolling away from him and he got pressure from the strongside he was facing and turned around, but he turned around at the wrong time because Baby Boy (Marvin) was right now."
Yeah, Marvin is like a speeding bullet, when he hits a running back or a quarterback, it is like an explosion.
"You must have watched film of him."
"For him to be so big, he is so fast. He was chasing a quarterback down yesterday (Texas-Oklahoma All-Star game) in the open field and collapsing on him. He didn't make the tackle because the other linebacker, who was not far from the dude, made it. Because of how fast he was chasing him down, I was telling myself that buck can run. He is big and fast."
Shawn, I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me. I hope everything works out for you. I hope you stick with Baltimore and make millions of dollars.
"Alright Gene. I appreciate it."
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.