Several Mississippi State players - Russell Cook (pictured), Will Prosser, Darren Williams - gave Gene's Page an update on how their summer is going."/>

MSU Players Updates - July 12

MSU Players Updates - July 12

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/01players/football/2004/cookrussell.jpg" align="left"> Several Mississippi State players - Russell Cook (pictured), Will Prosser, Darren Williams - gave Gene's Page an update on how their summer is going.


Sophomore SN Russell Cook

How much do you weight?
"Right now, I'm 227. I lost some weight while working this summer."

Do you want to regain some of the weight that you lost?
"I would like to be 230 to 235 going into two-a-days so that I can maintain my weight."

What improvements did you noticed in your play during the spring?
"I was more comfortable and relaxed. I think I became more consistent. I was working on that. My freshman year, I was just worrying about getting the ball back to the punter. Now I'm working on my speed and other things like getting the laces right."

Your kicking coach, Amos Jones, has a great reputation as a kicking coach. What are some things that he has helped you improve?
"He has helped me to be a better snapper by helping me to do things like getting the laces right to the holder so that he doesn't have to move it when he puts the ball down. He has helped with timing."

Are there still some things you want to improve?
"Working on my blocking such as staying square when I get back to block."


Sophomore WR Will Prosser

Coach Holliday told me he wants you to lose some weight so that you can increase your speed and quickness. What is your goal weight?
"I think I ended the spring at 208 and he wants me to get down to 200 to 203. I just weighed and was 205."

What did you work on during the spring?
"My foot quickness and catching all the balls that were thrown my way. I also tried to make the big play, which was something that I have struggled with from time to time. Another thing was just trying to learn the new playbook. I also tried to help the younger guys."

You never played wide receiver in high school, so your first two years at State were a true learning experience for you. Do you think you now understand the wide receiver position?
"I think this past spring was the most comfortable that I have felt. I don't think I am where I need to be, but I feel much more comfortable with route running and reading defenses. I think I will be good to go in the fall."

Coach Holliday said this should be a year where you will start producing in games. It definitely sounded like they will be using you more this coming season. Did you get that feeling during the spring?
"Yes, I did. I felt like I could really contribute in the slot, in short distance routes and going across the middle. He talked to me about being tough across the middle. I am a little bigger than other receivers, so I think I can really contribute in that capacity."

Do you feel the West Coast offense is more oriented toward wide receivers?
"I think it can or can't be. It uses a lot of play-action passes that help bring the safeties in, which can help in route running and coverages. I also like the way Coach McCorvey has installed it where it doesn't matter how you get there, just get there. As long as you get there when you are supposed to, it doesn't matter how you get there."


Junior FS Darren Williams

At the conclusion of the spring, what did your position coach, Ellis Johnson, tell you that he wanted you to work on during the summer?
"He wants me to work on being a leader and help get the other players ready to play."

How have you done during the summer workouts?
"I've been making all my times and been at the front of the line in the running drills. I'm trying to not only be a leader by words but my actions, also. I have always believed that actions speak louder than words."

Have you noticed other guys who have stood out this summer?
"Richard Burch has been working very hard. He runs his gassers with the linebackers. Rico Bennett has been working really hard. Jerious Norwood has been quiet but has been going 100% in all of the drills."

Have you noticed any players who have really come back with a different attitude?
"Really, the entire team's attitude is different. Everybody is trying to do the right thing because Coach Croom is not playing with us."

It sounds like football is fun again for you guys.
"Yeah, during the spring it was very fun, very fun."


Gene Swindoll is the owner/publisher of Gene's Page, the source for Mississippi State sports on TheInsiders.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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