The Team Has The Right Attitude

Tight end Jason Husband, a fifth-year senior, has really been impressed with the attitude of this year's Mississippi State football team. And his expectations for the squad reflect that.

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"Since my freshman year to now, the attitude has gotten better; this team seems more team goal-oriented," said Jason. "Everybody is after the same goal now. It's not about your own stats, but about the team winning."

And he's hopeful that attitude will carry over to the football field.

"Your goal is to see the effort that you put into it, starting with the LSU game, to show up on the field," said Jason, one of three senior tight ends on this year's squad. "You want it for yourself, your teammates, the coaches and the fans. The fans are the ones who have always been rooting for us the entire time."

As for his personal expectations for the team, suffice it to say that they are very high.

"My expectations for this team is pretty high," said Jason. "Everybody thinks we have to do it this year. This is the year that we need to win, so everybody is putting forth the effort in the summer like we did in the spring."

And he expects a veteran offensive line to help the team achieve those lofty expectations.

"This offense will be better because of the offensive line ... period," said Jason. "It all starts there. And they have been playing together for a year. In the SEC, you need a good line to win. We have a senior center, Royce (Blackledge), who has good talent, but his attitude to win is probably the best that I have seen at center since I've been here. Everybody feeds off of him."

Like the entire team has fed off the attitude that head man Sylvester Croom has brought to the program from the first day he stepped foot on the Mississippi State campus.

"Coach Croom is very passionate in what he does," noted Jason of the 4th year head coach. "He has a passion about giving effort and having the right attitude. And you could see that from the first day he came here to now.

"And it is almost there. I'm not going to say it's there completely, but you can see more people who are passionate about the game and about winning."

As for his personal role on the team, he's trying to be more of a leader.

"Since I first got here, I think I have improved my confidence in myself and I'm more of a leader on the team," said Jason. "In the past, I haven't been as outspoken as I wanted to be, but now I feel I'm making more of an impact as far as talking to people individually about things that can help them.

"I think most of them listen to me because most of them consider me like a big brother to them. I guess that's because I've been here for a few years and have been through it, experience-wise."

Another senior, defensive end Titus Brown, has been around almost as long as Jason, so he's seen the type player he is. And he's very impressed with what he sees.

"Jason is like a gnat; once he gets on you he is hard to get off because he will block you until the end," commented Titus. "And he's a good pass tight end because he runs crisp routes and he plays hard. He has that ability due to coming from wide receiver."

When asked to name a player from both the offense and defense who might surprise the fans this year, Jason quickly named two.

"A player who has surprised me on offense is Brandon McRae," said Jason. "He is a tall receiver who can go up and get it and he can run, too. He runs well after the catch. He is one of those guys who is passionate about it. He plays to win.

"On defense, (sophomore cornerback) Ant (Anthony) Johnson will be a surprise. To me, he's a pure athlete. He's from Jackson, my hometown, so I've watched him since he was a ninth grader at Provine. I know what he's capable of. Last year was his first year. This year, I think he is going to have a breakout year."

And Anthony, Jason and Brandon will get their first opportunity to showcase the new team attitude in less than two months.

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

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