Devin Jones Is Excited About This Year

Mississippi State sophomore defensive tackle Devin Jones has seen a great deal of improvement in his overall game and improvement in the Bulldog football team since the end of last season.

Devin Jones, who is sharing reps with sophomore Fletcher Cox at the defensive tackle spot during the preseason practices, talks about the improvement in his game since last fall.

"Coach says that I'm moving my feet better, not stopping my feet anymore," said the 6-1, 270-pounder. "He also says that I'm doing a better job of keeping my pads down low and running to the football."

And Jones worked hard in the offseason to get to where he is today.

"It was a great offseason for me," said Jones, who was rated the offseason champ by the Mississippi State coaches. "I stepped it up in the weight room and got stronger. My bench went up tremendously. (MSU head strength) Coach (Matt) Balis did a great job in the offseason training me."

Not only did he improve his bench, but his squat improved as well.

"I just now passed 400 pounds on the bench," said Jones. "And Coach Balis has me in the upper 600s in the squat. He really pushes me."

That added strength and footwork has done wonders for Jones' confidence level.

"I'm more confident when I step out on the field," said Jones. "And when I'm on the field I have more energy, I'm excited and I'm ready for the next play."

As for the team itself, Jones has seen a great deal of improvement and has no doubt this year's Bulldog team will be prepared for the upcoming season.

"We are coming together and improving on being a team that is going to win championships," said Jones. "We aren't worried about conditioning because Coach Balis did a great job in the offseason with us. Due to that, we are more prepared for this fall."

He also gives first-year Mississippi State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz a great deal of credit for the improved play of the defense.

"Coach Diaz makes the game fun to play," said Jones. "He makes sure we don't step on that field without a little energy. And he always makes sure we go out there and have fun."

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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