Love Expects To Be A Leader

Up until this year, junior Kyle Love was one of the younger guys and left it up to the veterans to be the leaders of the Mississippi State football team. Not so this year.

"In high school I was always the silent, quiet type leader, but the coaches here (at MSU) are kind of bringing it out of me to be a more vocal leader," said Kyle Love. "(MSU defensive line) Coach (David) Turner feels like I'm the most consistent D-lineman that he has and he wants me to show the other guys what they need to do."

While that's going to be new to him on the field, off the field is a different story for the personable youngster.

"I'm the guy everybody comes to for advice," said Love. "While I am quiet at times, I can be real playful as well, so a lot of guys like to hang around with me. I can't really explain it, they just like to be around me."

Although being a leader is foremost in his mind, he's also trying to accomplish a couple of other things this summer.

"What I'm trying to do this summer is get my toes back in shape after having toe surgery," said Love. "I'm also trying to get my weight down to what they want it to be."

And what do they want his weight to be?

"I want to be 295, but the coaches want me 300 to 305," said Love, who currently weighs 309 pounds.

And with the trimmed down weight, he's optimistic he'll have a better season than he had last year.

"I didn't have the season I wanted," said Love. "I would say it was below average. I might have had three tackles in a game and everything may have told me that I played great, but I didn't feel like I played that well."

How would he describe playing well, personally and team-wise?

"Personally, my goal is to at least make four or five tackles a game and try to end the season with at least seven sacks," said Love. "As a group, I want to see the D-line be more productive and make more plays."

While some might think not having last year's starting defensive ends around will make that task difficult, don't include Love among that group.

"We played pretty good last season, but I believe we can play ever better," said Love. "We will miss Titus and Avery, but I know Cortez McCraney will hold up his end and I know Timmy Bailey will do the same. Jimmie Holmes and Brandon Cooper will also do well. And one or two of the freshmen may come in and help us at pass-rush."

And if Love's prediction comes true, the MSU defense shouldn't skip a beat.


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.


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