"We are 6 - 3 right now," added Emmanuel McCray. "It has been a blessing for me. Since 9th grade, we have had a losing season every year. We have a strong senior core. We focused real hard all summer. Coach pushed us as hard as he could. We have had the same head coach since our class entered 9th grade. That has helped a lot. We opened 4-0 until (we played) Taylorsville. We lost to Lawrence County Friday, but we are making a push for our first playoff appearance in 17 years. Everyone is excited around here."
Lawrence County has a Dandy Dozen tailback in Kendrick Hardy. What were McCray's impression on Hardy?
Forest Hill had plans to use Emmanuel on both sides of the line of scrimmage heading into his senior season. Have those plans come to fruition?
"Well, I am the anchor for our offensive line, and they do not want to get me hurt playing defense, so they have pretty much saved me. I get in there some (on defense) on a situation down, but I am mostly playing offensive tackle."
McCray wanted to work on his run blocking going into his senior season. How has that gone?
"Better, a lot better. My strength is a lot better than where it was last year. Do not get me wrong, I still need to work on my run blocking, but I am better at it than I was last year. We are known for throwing the ball, so I have tuned up my pass blocking too. I am averaging 6 pancakes a game and had a season high 9 against Lawrence County."
Forest Hill has a couple more players who could end up going the D1 route.
"LB Patrick Black has a good defensive mindset. He is very aggressive and runs full speed ahead. Patrick has a good future ahead of him. He is just a junior. But a player everyone has been missing on is S Godfrey Thompson. He was the Metro Player of the Week (by the Jackson Clarion Ledger) last week. He blocked some punts, had some int's, a few sacks, and scored a couple TD's. It was his breakout game. Godfrey is one of the better athletes around here. And another player who has not gotten the recognition that they deserve is Dylan Davis. He did not go to the combines so he is not getting a lot of pub, but Dylan is one of the best players in the Metro area. People are missing out on him."
McCray is going to get a chance to take in his first college game of the season this weekend.
"I am proud of Ole Miss and MSU for their wins Saturday. They won a big game. It was well needed, especially MSU. It was homecoming, and you never want to lose to an inferior team on homecoming. I was suppose to go to that game, but my mom got sick. I have not been to any games this Fall, but I am going to Ole Miss this weekend with my mom. I promised them I would bring her with me to a game, so I told them today that I was bringing her with me this weekend. I am going to set up my (official) visits after my season is over."
Has McCray seen Ole Miss play on TV this year?
"Oh yea, I watched the Florida game. I caught a little of the Vandy game, and I saw some of the Alabama game. I record them on TV though, and then I will play them back when I have time. Ole Miss has a strong offense. I like the way they run the Wild Rebel. I like that a lot. I am not the best run blocker, but I do love to do it. They have good RB's, OL, WR's, TE's, and Jevan Snead is going to be one of the best QB's in the country. I really like him. Their defense stands up real good too. They are just an all-around good team. Their record should actually be a lot better than what it is, kind of like us. They lost those games because of turnovers. I told coach Nix the other day that their record would be different if it were not for five plays."
What about MSU?
"They have been doing better lately. They struggled before that. They lost a few games they should have won like La Tech, and the Auburn game the offense just was not clicking. Offensively, they are kind of struggling, well, they have really struggled to be honest. But they do have a pretty tough schedule at the same time."
What does McCray look at while he watches the games on TV or in person?
"I look at the relationship with the coaches, especially the position coach. I am closer with my OL coach than anyone else. I want to see how the offensive linemen communicate on the field with each other and with their coaches. I just like to see how the players interact with the coaches. I also like to see the different blocking schemes they run. Do they move the tackles a lot? Do they pull them? I want to know what their offensive tendencies are and see if I am comfortable with it."
Emmanuel committed to Ole Miss last February but has kept an open mind at the same time.
"Nothing has changed with my commitment (to Ole Miss). I am still committed, but I will evaluate the schools more in December when I take my visits. My focus right now is on my senior year and trying to get us to the playoffs. Everything is the same with me, as far as all of that recruiting stuff."
Anymore schools staying in weekly contact outside of Ole Miss and MSU?
"USM still keeps in close tabs. They want me to come down there and take a look around."