Donovan Davis (Callaway HS, 6-foot-7, 322)
You've lost quite a bit of weight. How much have you lost?
"Since the Sunday that we had the mini-camp at Hinds, I went from 339 to 322."
Have you noticed any improvement in your quickness due to the weight loss?
"My feet are moving a little bit better. I'm not getting as tired as I used to. It's pretty easy to move without the additional weight."
What weight are you trying to get down to?
"I want to get down to 305. My playing weight in high school was 325, but I really don't feel comfortable playing above that."
The coaches here have told me how impressed they have been with you. Have you had some really great practices since you have been here?
"I feel like these last three days have been my worst days of practicing. I'm not saying I'm supposed to dominate, but I'm used to playing at a higher level than I'm playing right now. These headaches, because of the heat or whatever, are really slowing my game down. My morning practices have been a little bit better than I usually play, but the afternoons practices have to get better."
Who have you been going against in practice, Quentin Groves and Corey Clark?
"I've seen Quentin Groves line up in front of me. And Craig Nunnery (of McComb) and Robert Hough from Provine. All three of them are great athletes and just are guys who know how to run. We are helping each other get better."
They are all quick. Has that helped you work on your quickness?
"Yes sir. Running around with these guys has shown me how much I have to work and where I am right now."
Have you faced a guy like Quentin Groves or Corey Clark in high school prior to these practices?
"Ole Miss signee Jamie Mitchell of Forest Hill, as a matter of fact. He is strong and fast. They really got a prize horse right there. As long as he keeps his work ethic up, he is going to be All-SEC some day."
What do you think about Corey Clark?
"Corey doesn't stop. He is going to give you everything that he has until he can't give anymore. That is why I'm proud to say he is going to be my teammate next season."
Have you form a bond with the other MSU signees?
"With the guys that are here, we have really gotten very close. It is all about camaraderie and getting to State and getting something done in the SEC."
What are you expecting at State?
"With Quinton (Culberson) and myself, we have 6 Parade All-Americans on the roster. It's just time for a turnaround, time to put Jackie Sherrill back where he belongs, at the top of the SEC."
What makes Quinton Culberson so good?
"Quinton does stuff that people don't expect because of his size. They expect him to be a step slower than all the other DBs but he is going to get there before the ball does. If he doesn't, then he is going to make you wish you hadn't caught it anyway."
Did he ever get the better of you?
"Yeah, he got the better of me four years. They beat us four straight years. I'm glad to have him on my side of the ball for a change."
Quinton Culberson (Provine HS, 6-foot-0, 205)
What makes Donovan Davis so good?
"He is a great 6-foot-7 offensive lineman who is very aggressive on run blocking and has great feet for pass blocking. He is a great offensive lineman. I hope he can come in and be able to start."
What have the MSU coaches told you about what they expect this year?
"I have a great chance to come in and start at cornerback and, maybe, by the middle of the season, to play a little wide receiver."
How much fun has it been to come out here and play with the best players from Mississippi?
"God blessed us 36 players to come out here and have fun and make the best of it. We are all having fun, laughing and talking and getting to know each other. We just want to win Saturday."
Are you guys going to stop the four-game streak Saturday?
"We are going to stop it Saturday. The streak will stop Saturday."
Talk a little about Rickey Wright, the other MSU signee who is playing in the DB backfield.
"I played against Rickey Wright in our spring game. He was a good quarterback then. He can cover. I saw him covering today. He is a great corner. He can play corner or safety, but we have to see how he can hit."
How big are you?
"I'm about 6-0, 6-1 and 208."
You are a big cornerback.
"A lot of people get nervous when they see me step on the field as a defensive back. They think I play linebacker."
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports and Mississippi high school sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.