Several Mississippi State players - Richard Burch, McKinley Scott - gave Gene's Page an update on how their summer is going."/>

MSU Players Updates

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/01players/football/2004/burchrichard.jpg" align="left"> Several Mississippi State players - Richard Burch, McKinley Scott - gave Gene's Page an update on how their summer is going.


Junior OT Richard Burch

How much do you currently weigh?
"309."

What do you want to weigh?
"305."

How much have you lost since last season?
"I have probably lost about 30 pounds. At my heaviest, I weighed about 337. During the spring, I dropped down to 327."

You seemed to have become more of a leader during the summer workouts. Has your leadership skill developed over time or is it something you have made a concerted effort to improve this summer?
"I guess it's something that has developed. And I'm just now getting to a point where I can say something to somebody and it makes an impact. I now know when to say something and when not to. I know when it will be effective and when it won't. My first two years up here wouldn't have been as effective as it is now."

Does being a leader put more pressure on you to always do your runs and make your times during the summer workouts?
"It doesn't put anymore pressure on me than I put on myself. I plan on being one of the top tackles in the nation. That overshadows any other pressure."

How has MSU strength and conditioning coach Jim Nowell helped you improve your strength and conditioning?
"When (former S&C) Coach Grant was here, he only had 3 people trying to coach 40 to 50 football players at one time. Coach Nowell has a big staff. There are probably 3 players to one coach. And each coach is watching you, making sure you are doing everything correctly."

Specifically, what are you trying to accomplish this summer?
"Get the best out of this summer that I can. I want to work hard everyday."

Do you feel comfortable with the new offense?
"I feel comfortable. While it's not the same as last year's offense, some of the blocking schemes are the same. They just have different names."

Now that you have been around Coach Croom for a little more than six months, do you think he is the perfect coach for MSU at this time?
"To tell you the truth, I don't know what a perfect coach is, but he is doing a real good job."

Do you think the discipline that he has brought in was something that Mississippi State football needed at this time?
"Oh yeah, very much so."

Do you think his discipline will mean more wins on the field?
"I believe it wholeheartedly."


Senior WR McKinley Scott

Since you are a senior this year, are you trying to take more of a leadership role?
"Yes sir. Mostly, I'm trying to lead by my actions."

Are there some things you are trying to improve during the summer?
"Most of all I need to develop confidence in my hands and believe that I can do anything. I also need to work on my routes. I think I am improving a lot this summer."

You mentioned that you need to gain more confidence. Is that more mental or more physical?
"I think it is now more mental than anything else. I had to overcome the knee injury by getting it out of the back of my mind so that I could relax and have fun."

Overcoming your knee injury has been a long haul for you hasn't it?
"Yes, it has."

How close are you to being 100% healthy?
"I would say I'm about 90%."

How do you, as a receiver, feel about the new offense?
"I think it will help us out. Most of the routes aren't too hard and are easy to learn. It pretty much leaves it up to you to make the plays. Instead of the quarterback having to make the plays, all he has to do is leave it up to us to make them."

Did wide receiver coach Guy Holliday tell you during the spring how they hope to use you this year?
"Not really. What he told me to do was work hard this summer and try to get my knee in great shape."


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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