"I got hurt my freshman year. That is when I had surgery. I came back and only played special teams. I was a starter going in. My sophomore year I started. I had 15 or 16 catches for about 180 or 190 yards and 1 TD."
How did you wind up at Mississippi State?
"I got together with one of the coaches from a crosstown rival. He is now retired. He used to send out films. I went to see him and he sent out about 200 films. We started getting some calls. It started out One-Double A, but real late Division-I schools started calling late, Alabama, West Virginia and Utah. They didn't know what was going on at that time. I kind of wanted to go somewhere mid-semester, but all I was getting serious looks from at that time were One-Double A programs. I talked to the West Virginia coach and the Alabama coach. They both told me to wait around and see what I could get. I waited around and Auburn and Mississippi State came along."
Why did you decide on State?
"I like Jackie Sherrill a lot. And I like coach Tompkins. Everybody I talked to, Sparky Woods and the others, they seemed like real down-to-earth guys and guys that I can relate to. And it was kind of a different environment for me and I thought it would be fun. I'm used to the big-city life (Oklahoma City) and this is the total opposite of that. It's fun. I like it so far."
What were you doing during the first part of the summer?
"Every since January I have had a personal trainer. They call him the "Flying Hawaiian". He played fullback at Arkansas, then moved to Missouri Southern after suffering an injury in a car wreck. He played in the NFL-Europe for three years, then played for the Oilers for a year and the Colts for a year.
"He had us doing some combine work. He trained some athletes for the combine a few years ago. It was tough. We did some crazy stuff. I got a lot stronger but most of all I got quicker because all of his stuff was quickness and explosiveness exercises. We pulled sleds, had bunge runs, ladder drills. We even had a sand pit that we used everyday."
What are your goals this coming season?
"I want to do the best I can. I would like to make the travel squad and go to all the away games."
By the way, aren't you in a unique situation. Your dad played college ball and played with a Heisman Trophy winner. Talk a little about that.
"My dad (an offensive lineman) played at Stanford. While he was there, he went to Rose Bowls and played with Jim Plunkett."
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.