"I was born in Pasadena, California. I lived in Altauena, California. I lived there for the first 10 years of my life. Then we moved to Gainesville, Florida. That's where the rest of my family is right now."
Where did you go to high school?
"I went to high school in Gainesville."
Did you play football?
"I did. I played tight end and defensive end."
Did you play football in college?
"I walked on at Howard University and played there for two years. It was a good experience, but it was the life of a walk-on. I wound up getting my degree there."
How did you wind up in coaching?
"I've always wanted to coach and I've always wanted to coach on the collegiate level."
How did you wind up at Mississippi State?
"I got into grad school here. But I was bowling in Gainesville with some friends and next to us was Charlie Strong. Being a long-time Gator fan I recognized him right away. I didn't have any hesitation so I went up to him and talked to him. I told him about my situation at Mississippi State where I had gotten into grad school and that I wanted to be a part of the football program. He said he would make a phone call for me. Amos Jones was here at the time and he knew Amos Jones and Coach Melvin Smith. I walked into the office and talked to both of them. They made a few background checks on me, and the rest is history."
What kind of job did you have when you were first hired and what were your duties?
"I was a volunteer then. I was helping break down tape, doing scouting reports, player personnel. I did whatever they wanted me to do. I am very grateful to Coach Croom for letting me join the program."
You are now an on-the-field graduate assistant coach. What are your duties?
"The first thing starting on Sunday, the games are broken down. When we play Jackson State we will break down their last three games of last year. We will break that down and enter it in the computer. Then we will ask Coach (Carl) Torbush what he wants to see from those breakdowns. We will do the playbooks before the season. But the main thing is breaking down film and getting it into the computer. We'll (also) draw cards (for practice)."
What will you do during the actual practices?
"I'll be with Coach (David) Turner during practice. He'll let me assist him with the defensive line."
What are your short-term goals and long-term goals?
"I've always wanted to be a head coach. And I would love to work up the ladder pretty quickly, be a head coach in 10 to 12 years. I'm going to work my way up through hard work. That's my short-term goal. My long-term goal is I want to coach 20 to 30 years."
It seems like so many coaches start out as a volunteer coach, which means you earn no money and you work long hours. What drives you guys to do that?
"I put myself into that situation. No one else did. There was an adjustment at first due to the long hours. When you are a player you didn't have to put in that many hours. But it's still a joy because you get to be around young people and help them develop. And I'm still young. I'm 25. So I can relate to them on their level."
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 emailing email@example.com.