A Q&A With DT Pernell McPhee

A Q&A with Mississippi State junior defensive tackle Pernell McPhee.

Talks about how your spring has gone so far.
Pernell McPhee - "I've done as good as I thought I would considering that they moved me from defensive end to defensive tackle. I think I've been doing good on that as far as coming off the ball and making plays. But I'm still trying to adjust to the position that they moved me to."

You have to be bigger to play inside. How much do you weigh?
"I lost about 10 pounds, so I'm 270 now."

You are considered a vocal kind of guy. Is being a vocal leader something that you've always been?
"Yeah, I feel like God gave me a special gift to play football, and a special gift to have a positive attitude. When Coach told me he was recruiting me he said he needed me to come in and keep the guys up, somebody who would be a leader. I told him I would come in and do that. And he told me he wanted me to come in and show them how to work. And I've never had a problem with working. That's all I did, just stuck to my old basics, work hard and be a leader."

Does it come natural for you to be a vocal leader?
"Oh yes sir. I'm that type of guy."

You also hate to lose don't you? I mean really hate to lose.
"I hate to lose. I hate it. I hate when somebody blocks me and I hit the ground. I hate everything about losing. I hate losing anything - double block, one-on-one, cut block, whatever you want to call it, I just hate to lose. But I think everybody should be like that, though."

Who has impressed you on the offensive line?
"Tobias (Smith)."

Charles Burns said the same thing. What is it about Tobias?
"He's strong and short and can get underneath you. He's a Dog!"

Is he as good as you have ever faced in high school and junior college?
"He's as good as I have ever faced, hands down, junior college, high school. But I haven't faced any guys who are playing in the SEC or the NCAA."

You know he's only a redshirt freshman, don't you?
"I know that, but there is no doubt that he would have been a starter last year if he hadn't gotten hurt. He wouldn't be a redshirt freshman now."

You two go against each other in practice every day. How do you help each other?
"He gives me his best and I give him my best."

What are some things you have taught him?
"He's got his technique down pat. What he needs is somebody to come after him every play. So, I teach him by coming at him every play. That's the one thing I teach - I'm coming every play. If he's going to play somebody like me, then he will be used to it after practicing against me every day. That's also what he is teaching me because he comes after me every play, too."

The MSU coaches are very, very intense. What are your thoughts about that?
"I love it. I love it."

Your defensive line coach from Itawamba Community College was at practice Thursday.
"I really wanted to put on a show for him but we had to come in here (in the Palmeiro Center) and I couldn't get my feet underneath me and I was slipping and sliding. The next time he comes the defensive line is going to put on a show for him, hands down."

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

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