Ole Miss Co-Captain Andrew Wicker, one of the most influential leaders on the Rebel team, sighed when asked about his five-year Rebel career.
"It's been a blur," Wick said. "It seems like just a few days ago I was a pup waiting on my first practice, pumping myself up to play college football. Now, it's almost over.
"The first couple of years, you think time is crawling and it's too hard and you'll never get out of college. Then the last two or three years fly by. Here I am with two or three days of practice and one game left. It's crazy."
But what a ride it's been for the 6-5, 295-pounder from Zachary, LA.
"I've been through it all," said Andrew. "We've won big, we've lost big, I've redshirted, changed positions, played for several coaches on both sides of the ball, started, rode the pine, been injured. Just about anything that can happen to me in football has happened.
"But it's all been good in my development as a person and an adult. I've grown up a lot. I was wet behind the ears when I got here. Now I'm a better person and player. I give credit to the whole Ole Miss family for all of that. Ole Miss is responsible for getting the better part of me to come out and I'm thankful for it."
Wicker has mixed emotions about this year. Yes, the Rebels are 3-8 heading into the annual Egg Bowl tilt with Mississippi State, but Andrew sees some good things on the way that have him wishing for another year of eligibility.
"We wanted to win this year and haven't gotten it done when we have had the opportunities," he reflected, "but there are some special things going on here now and I wish I had more time to be a part of it.
"I can't speak for every position, but I know about the offensive line. We have a great coach (Art Kehoe) and we have some young players who aren't going to be young much longer. They have a lot of ability and it's starting to surface daily."
Wicker has always been a "fan" of the talent of his OL teammates. He continues to be.
"We've got a pair of first-round picks in Michael Oher and John Jerry and they are still very young. It's scary how good they will be the rest of their careers," Wick continued. "Corey (Actis) has another year, Mo (Miller) has come into his own and is one of the strongest players on our team, if not the strongest. David Traxler, Reid Neely are coming on. Darryl (Harris) is coming back. It's going to be a good situation here on the OL for several more years.
"And you can feel that same type of development at the other positions. I'm the only senior on the starting offense."
Wicker - being one of the team leaders - has been instrumental in keeping the team motivated from a peer standpoint. He was at the center of the uprising at LSU last weekend.
Can the Rebels duplicate that intensity versus Mississippi State? Andrew votes "yes."
"I think we will have the same focus, I really do. This is as big a game as last week, if not bigger, because it's about bragging rights," he stated. "We will play our hearts out, just like we did against LSU and Auburn and Alabama and Georgia, but this time we have to finish and come through with a victory."
Finishing is what Wicker believes Saturday's matchup will be about.
"We graded decent up front against LSU, but we have to finish. We have to finish each play in practice, each pactice, each day, each play in the game and finish the game," he stated. "That's our key for the week - to finish.
"If we do that, which I believe we will, we will get the Egg back in Oxford."
Wicker, who is majoring in Business Management and is an Honor Roll student, has aspirations for a professional football career, but whatever path life leads him in, he feels he is ready for the challenge.
"Playing college football gives you discipline and prepares you for any challenge you might face," said the avid outdoorsman. "Ole Miss has taught me how to succeed and I'm grateful for that."
Andrew Wicker -
OM Spirit Top Stories
A Big Heart Gives OutHe was only 36 when he stopped breathing, but former Ole Miss Rebel Justin Sawyer leaves behind an everlasting, positive influence on those who knew and loved him.
OM Spirit6:19 AM
Series won, Rebels Go for SweepOle Miss clinched a series win over No. 10 ECU with a 3-2 win on Saturday. Analysis, quotes, recap and box score.
OM SpiritYesterday at 4:18 PM
Two-way lineman Cunningham bursts onto sceneFor one reason or another, prospects emerge at different times but that time is now for massive Alabama lineman Jalen Cunningham.
Scout FootballYesterday at 7:11 AM
Rebs Kick Off Season With BangOle Miss moved to 1-0 on the year with a 5-4 win over No. 10 East Carolina Friday afternoon. Analysis, quotes, recap and box score.
OM SpiritFriday at 6:27 PM