Veteran DBs Like What They See This Year

Mississippi State secondary seniors David Heard and Marcus Evans have been around for several years, so they know what they are talking about when they compare this year's team to past Mississippi State football teams. And, so far, both have been very impressed with this latest edition.

"I was pretty pleased with what we did. Everybody looked good," said David of the first days of practice. "We didn't really bust any (plays). I think we are right back in the groove."

Marcus sees something in this year's defense that Mississippi State fans haven't seen since the late 1990's.

"Defensively, we have a swagger. Last year, we didn't have that swagger," said Marcus. "We have more leaders on the defense who will tell the younger guys to step their game up. Right now, as a defense, we are a whole lot better than last year."

You can't say enough about having senior leadership such as Marcus, David and Jeramie Johnson in the secondary, Deljuan Robinson, Andrew Powell and Michael Heard on the defensive front and Quinton Culberson at linebacker. It helps in so many ways.

"Having leadership helps a team a lot because we have been there and know what to expect," noted Marcus. "With young guys like (Anthony) Summers, (Marcus) Washington and (Jamon) Hughes, guys who can come in and help us (this year), it's good to have veterans in front of them who can show them what to do and not do. At any given time (a veteran) might go down and they'll have to come in."

Playing in the secondary, Marcus has seen first-hand guys like Washington and Summers. When asked about Washington, he couldn't say enough good things about the youngster.

"Washington is a laid-back type of corner. He doesn't say much, but he gets the job done," said Marcus. "He's a very good athlete. If I'm not mistaken, he jumps about 38 inches. That's athletic ability. You can't teach that. With time, he will probably be one of the best corners that we'll have. "

Marcus has also been impressed with what he's seen on the offensive side of the ball.

"The offense is more dedicated. Last year, they had a bunch of freshmen (playing). They know more what to expect now. Now, they can actually start playing as a team on the (offensive) line," he said.

He's also liked what he's seen from the two juco wide receivers, Ryan Mason and Tony Burks.

"Mason is more of the physical type and Burks is more of the speed type. I think they will be able to help a whole lot," said Marcus. "They bring size and speed to the offense."

Overall, Marcus feels this year's edition is the best that he's seen since he's been at MSU.

"I would have to say this is the best team that I have been playing on since I've been here. You have leadership, discipline and experience," he said. "Last year, we had talent, but this year we have a lot more talent."

And it's a team that's in great condition as well, according to David Heard.

"I think the (conditioning) program was more vigorous this summer than it has been," he said. "There are a couple of O-linemen that he wants to get in shape, but, overall, everybody looks great."

Marcus' and David's attitudes can be seen in the locker room as well.

"It is totally different in the locker room. You have players ready to practice when they come to practice," said Marcus Evans. "We are hungry for it, knowing that we can win and go to a bowl game this year."

And Marcus believes MSU fans are about to see what Coach Croom has been trying to build since he first set foot on campus - a winner!

"Since Coach Croom has been here, he has been trying to build that winning team. This year, I'm not saying the first two years weren't winning teams, but this is the winning year," said Marcus.

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

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