"What I need to work on is getting stronger and faster. I understand the plays. That is no problem for me. But I need to get bigger and stronger."
What did you notice about college ball when you first started practicing against college linemen?
"The ball player was tougher. On my (high school) team, you might see one or two who would have actually had a chance to play on this level. Here, you go against those kind of players everyday. It is hard on you. You have to realize you were the big guy in high school and you won between 90 and 95% of the battles. When you first get here, you are going to lose a bunch of the battles. You have to work yourself back up to winning most of those battles."
Do you have to make sure you don't lose confidence in yourself while you are losing so many battles after winning most of them in high school?
"That was probably one of the things; keeping your confidence. If you don't, then you will just fade away."
Avery, what did you want to accomplish during spring practice?
"Going into the spring, all I really wanted to accomplish was try to make the team. I want to travel with the team and feel more a part of it. I know the scout team is part of it and I was glad to be on that and help the team that way. But I would like to make the travel team."
Do you feel you came closer to achieving that goal?
"I think I am pretty close, but I think I will also need to have a good two-a-days. I need to stay in the weightroom a lot and get bigger and stronger."
What are your things you want to improve during the summer workouts?
"The same thing as the spring; get bigger and stronger and faster. I also wanted to get closer to the other players on the team. Last year I didn't come during the summer and I think that hurt me quite a bit when fall came around."
Yeah, I noticed most of the newcomers are here during the second summer session.
"Yeah, I was surprised how many have showed up. We have a bunch of new faces here."
Team-wise, what do you feel this team can accomplish this season?
"I think we can make a good charge for the SEC West this year. And, hopefully, play in the big game in the Georgia Dome (SEC Championship game)."
What are your individual goals for this season?
"I would like to get some playing time. But if I don't, I will understand. It is really hard for a redshirt freshman to play on the line in this league. But I would like to get some playing time, if for no other reasons than to see an SEC crowd and how the game feels on the field on Saturday."
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.