A Q&A With Pernell McPhee

Former Mississippi State football great Pernell McPhee, who is currently with the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League, talks one-on-one with Gene's Page during the recent Mississippi State spring football game.

You played college football at Mississippi State, in the SEC, the top conference in college football. How did that prepare you for the NFL?
"It helped me a lot. Being at Mississippi State prepared me mentally and physically."

You've been in the pros going into your third season. What is the NFL like, playing opposite guys who are equally as talented as you are?
"It's fun. It's like a dogfight every day (in games and in practice), all day long. We go out and get paid to compete, to compete against the best every day.

"Playing in the NFL is a great accomplishment in my life. I know a lot of other guys want to be successful. I tell them to keep their head on straight and go out and do it."

It is a great accomplishment for you because when you first went to Itawamba Community College you were an undersized player who was lightly recruited. Then, you built yourself into one of the top junior college players in the nation. After that, you signed with MSU. Now you are playing in the NFL. That's a great accomplishment.
"It means a lot to me. But it's not a dream come true for me; it's a reality to me. I didn't sit back and dream about it. I went out and got it. I did it.

"It's like dreaming about having a million dollars. You can't dream up a million dollars. You have to go out and get that million dollars. You have to work for it to get it."

What's a day like in the NFL compared to college football?
"You can put it all in a box. In college, you wake up in the morning, you go to class, you go to meetings, then you go to practice. In the NFL, you wake up, then go to meetings all day long, then you go to practice. They are both very similar. That's why I say you can put it in a box."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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