MSU Senior MLB Chris White

Mississippi State senior linebacker Chris White believes success is just a few short months away for the Mississippi State football team.

But success doesn't just happen. It's earned. And for the Bulldog football team, the earning of success starts during the brutally hot summer months while working with Mississippi State head strength coach Matt Balis.

"Last year, the workouts were insane hard for me, but this year they are a lost easier," said White. "Actually, the workouts are probably harder but it's easier on my body because I know what to expect."

Despite being better prepared for the workouts, they are still tough to deal with.

"Really, every day is a grind," said White. "Every day when you walk into the weight room you know you have to work out hard. And every day you have to run, you know it is going to be hard. Really, the grind of things can get to you but you get used to it."

In the end, though, the hard work pays off not only physically but mentally as well.

"You can say it's a mental thing, just walking out on the field knowing you are bigger, faster, stronger and that you can play up to your ability," said White.

In addition to being physically and mentally improved, White has been moved to a new position on the team but not new to him personally - middle linebacker. And he couldn't be happier.

"I love middle linebacker," said White. "I feel a lot more comfortable there. I played middle linebacker since high school. I just like running to the ball from sideline to sideline. Last year, when I was on one side, it was like I only had one side of the field to cover. I like the middle because you can go either way."

While things are looking up for White, he also believes things may be looking ever brighter for the team.

"I definitely think this team is going to be a lot better because (head) Coach (Dan) Mullen is a great coach and this is his second year," he said. "I think our defense is going to be a lot better and I think our offense is going to be a lot better, too. And I think we are going to win a lot more games than we did last year."

While it will be the second year under Dan Mullen, it will be the first under new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. And White can't hold back his excitement when he talks about playing in the Diaz defensive system.

"It is going to be awesome playing in his system," said White. "It is going to be more exciting because there are going to be more sacks, more turnovers, more tackles for loss and more big hits. There will be a lot more of those things."

He especially sees a big year for the Bulldog defensive linemen.

"Pernell McPhee will probably have double digit sacks this year," said Chris White, referring to MSU's senior defensive end. "Josh Boyd, Fletcher Cox, they are going to have big years. Sean Ferguson told me the other day how he didn't play at his full potential last year and this year he has a mindset that he will play the best he can. I've seen that working out and in everything. I think he will have a big year."

As for himself, he expects to have a much better season as well.

"I expect to have a great season this year."

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

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