Cortez McCraney Just Wants To Play

It doesn't matter to senior Cortez McCraney whether he plays defensive end of defensive tackle. All he wants to do is get on the field and help Mississippi State reach its goals.

"I'm primarily playing defensive end, but they will slide me inside sometimes," said Cortez McCraney, who runs the forty-yard dash in 4.8 seconds. "But I don't care where I play because I just want to get into the game."

And once he's in the game, the goals he has for his team and himself will be the driving force behind his play.

"My team goal is to win the SEC and try to be the national champion and my individual goal is to be All-SEC," said the 6-4, 280-pounder.

McCraney took the long way to get those opportunities, though.

"My dad always liked Coach Croom and wanted me to come here out of high school but he told me it was my choice, so I chose Memphis because my mom stays in Memphis and she could come to my games," said McCraney.

But Mississippi State stayed on his mind and he decided to transfer to State at the conclusion of his sophomore year.

"It's worked out for the best because I love playing in the SEC," said McCraney. "Everything happens for a reason and I'm glad I'm here now."

After sitting out the 2006 season due to the transfer rule, McCraney got his first taste of SEC football last year. It was an up and down year for him.

"After sitting out a year, I had high expectations," said McCraney. "While last year was exciting, I was kind of disappointed in the year I had because I only had about 20-something tackles."

However, he expects this year to be much better.

"This year, which is my last year, I want to put up some big numbers and help my team reach its goals," said McCraney.

And he's working hard during the summer to make sure he's able to do just that.

"I'm working on my quickness, trying to get stronger and I'm studying film," said McCraney. "I'm going to watch (former LSU great) Glen Dorsey and study his technique so I can see how I can improve my game."

Watching film shouldn't be a problem for McCraney since he's gotten a lot of practice.

"I love watching movies," said McCraney. "I have about 60 or 70 DVDs. If they are on sale 4 for $20, I'll buy them. I like movies with a twist but like watching everything really."

Maybe the next sports movie he purchases will be one with the twist of Mississippi State winning the 2008 SEC football championship.

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

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