"Just get my wind better so that I am able to play an entire game instead of half. I played hard a half then ran out of gas in the third and fourth quarters last year."
Was that partly due to the fact that you weren't able to go through Mike Grant's workouts last summer?
"No, that was nobody's problem but mine. I should have taken it upon myself to work out. Even though I couldn't work out with the team, I should have been working out. There were gyms around here I could have gone to but I didn't do that. It hurt me."
Do you feel like you achieved what you wanted to during the spring? Is your wind better?
"It is a whole lot better, a whole lot better. Just continuing to run hard can do nothing but help me."
You were here for the first summer session. Was trying to get into game condition the main reason you attended the first summer session?
"That was the only reason I came in. I've got to handle my business. We have a job to do out here."
What are your goals for the second summer session?
"Continue to get my wind right and continue to get stronger. I know if I get my wind right and get stronger, I know nobody can stop me but me."
I've heard from different folks that you have really been working harder than ever this summer.
"Talent can't get you by in the fourth quarter when you are tired. Talent can't help that. Nothing but heart can get you by then."
What are your individual and team goals this season?
"Play up to my talent level. The entire team to play up to its talent level. You know what you can do. These folks didn't sign you just to BS around. You have to play up to your talent level. If you say you are that good, if people say you are good, then show them. Team-wise, I want us to go 12 and 0. The last team I played on that went 3-8, we went 9 and 3 the next season."
What was the differences in those teams?
Are you seeing that in this year's team?
"Oh, for sure. There were a lot of people here for the first session, a lot of people."
Do you guys talk among yourselves about last season?
"I don't like to talk about it personally. What did you get out of that season but bruises, injuries and embarrassment and folks laughing at you? I have classes where the teachers crack jokes about us."
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 email@example.com.