Chris McNeil Q & A: Part Two

Chris McNeil was a very highly touted player out of Petal High School. McNeil signed with Mississippi State and Coach Jackie Sherrill despite an eleventh hour push from Alabama. In the conclusion of our conversation with Chris, he talks about the highs and lows of his football career.

SR: Chris when you look back over your playing days, what memories really stand out to you?

CM: My fondest memories are the win against Florida my junior year and then to end my senior year with the win over Ole Miss. I see the Ole Miss people around here now and I tell them that my last memory of playing at Mississippi State was our offensive line just physically dominating Ole Miss for four quarters. Jerious had a career day and there was just nothing they could do to stop us. I take a lot of pride in it. When I see some of the Ole Miss players I tell them that I don't know what is going to happen from here on out, but the last time that we played together we pretty much destroyed them.

SR: The front four for the 2005 Ole Miss team came in as a pretty salty bunch. How did you all prepare for them?

CM: They came in talking about they had four guys on the front that were going to be in the NFL and that they were going to throw us around. I was just kind of like we'll just wait and see. I know we had our minds right when we went out there and played that game. We just wanted to go out there and just put the hurting on some people. Some people were just P.O.'d about it. We remember the comment Mike Espy made about them owning Mississippi. That year we got our pay back.

SR: What was it like knowing your college career was over? I know you spent some time with the Miami Dolphins.

CM: When the season is over, you just have to gear down some and start focusing on your pro career. It was an exciting time to be around a lot of big name guys, but eventually you have to realize that there are other things to do in the world. My body was beat up when I was at State. I had several concussions and when I went to Miami they pretty much told me my knees were shot. I graduated that December with over a 3.0 GPA. I just decided that it was time to move on and settle down. I got married and me and my wife just went and got normal jobs.

SR: Looking back over your college days, is there anything you wish you could go back and change?

CM: If I could change anything I would change some of the decisions I made my first couple of years up there. I didn't always make the most perfect decisions. You live and learn. I enjoyed my time up there and met a lot of friends that I will have for the rest of my life. I can look back and say I don't have any regrets from college.

SR: I know it's only been a year, but are you still in touch with the program or your teammates?

CM: I still keep in contact with a lot of the seniors. A lot of them live here in Jackson, so I get to see them a lot. My brother plays at Tennessee, so I go to a lot of his games. He supported me when I was playing, so now it's my turn. I do the same thing for him.

SR: What are your expectations for the program?

CM: It seems that Coach Croom is really getting some things turned around up there and I hope everything will work out for him. He is a good man. It looks like recruiting is going pretty well for him this year. Everyone just needs to keep working hard and doing the little things and I believe we are going to get everything turned around up there.

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