MSU Junior TE Kendrick Cook

Mississippi State junior tight end Kendrick Cook not only knows his roles on the team but accepts them and will do his best to excel in each.

During the 2010 season, Cook is expecting to share time with two other veteran tight ends - senior Brandon Henderson and junior Marcus Green. Each player will have his role, and Cook knows exactly what his role will be.

"Blocking is a role that I play," said the 6-4, 250-pounder, who will do a lot of his blocking in goal line situations. "I love the goal line area because any time we get close to the goal line I know we are about to score, and I love that part of the game. And when it comes to blocking I take pride in it.

"And, hopefully, this year I may be out in space a little bit. But, right now, I am taking pride in the blocking part."

If he should get out in space and have a few passes thrown his way, don't look for him to go down on first contact.

"I hate going down on first contact," said Cook, who played in 10 games last season including one start. "I've been that way ever since high school. And working with (MSU head strength) Coach (Matt) Balis and all the other strength coaches that's a mindset of ours. They have developed a killer mentality in us, which allows all of us to have the mindset to not go down on first contact."

Another role that he hopes to fill on the team is being a leader, something you would expect from a junior.

"I'm 20 years old now and I've got a different mindset going into my junior year compared to my freshman and sophomore," said Cook. "There are a lot of younger guys who have come in who look up to you to see how to work, what to do and what not to do. When we do what is right, they automatically fall in and do it right, too. And when the young guys learn that early, then the program is going one way and that way is up."

He's also a leader off the field as well.

"I do youth ministry," said Cook. "I am an encourager. I don't do too much yelling unless it is one of those situations where it has to be done. And even then things are done for a reason. I enjoy the encouragement part of it. And you never know if you may need it too, and they may be the one who does it."

If pro football doesn't pan out for him, Cook has an alternative career planned.

"Right now, I plan on doing physical education and mathematics and be a math teacher," said Cook. "I love math. I will be working on getting my degree in mathematics and an exercise phys masters."

He hopes to use the two degrees to not only teach but coach as well.

"I'm hoping to coach," said Kendrick Cook. "And I hope I can coach on the college level if God sees fit."

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

Gene's Page Top Stories