Green working to make last year at MSU a good one

Gerri Green fires up the MSU defense at practice.

Staff Writer

There will be plenty of lasts for Mississippi State senior defensive lineman Gerri Green over the next few months.

After years as a Bulldog, Green is down to one more season wearing maroon and white.

Last Friday, Green began checking off boxes on his list of lasts when State began preseason training camp.

“Last first day (of practice),” Green said afterwards. “It was exciting. It came fast.”

It’s shaping up to be a thrilling conclusion to Green’s MSU career. He enters this season as one of the pieces of a Mississippi State defensive line expected to be one of the nation’s best. It’s actually a bit of a transition for Green. He has been a linebacker for most of his time in Starkville, but with new defensive coordinator Bob Shoop’s base defense being run out of a four-down-lineman set, Green will shift up to defensive end in 2018.

Green has added a few extra pounds over the offseason to go along with his position switch. He said that wasn’t necessarily because he was changing addresses so much as it was just a goal to get a little bigger.

Last Friday, and in the days following, Green has gotten the first chance to put those few extra pounds to the test. Green said on Friday he and his teammates hit the ground running and are off to a good start at camp with the season opener under a month away.

“Guys came out and it was fast-paced,” Green said of Friday’s workout. “There wasn’t any going backwards or anything. Guys were on it and that’s a credit to this summer also with our summer workouts and conditioning. We put the time in, especially with the younger guys, to catch them up.”

Speaking of those younger guys, Green said it was fun to see the excitement from the Bulldog newcomers. He was once there himself, but Green couldn’t help but smile as he recounted the giddiness of some of MSU’s freshmen.

“They were forgetting little things like leaving their helmets in the locker room and forgetting to tie their cleats,” Green said. “It happens to all of us on our first times. They were just ready to get out there.”

The youngsters will catch up soon enough. As they do, they’ll get to play alongside a team full of Bulldogs with incredibly high expectations for 2018.

Green welcomes the challenge for MSU to try and live up to all their preseason hype. No matter how highly the Bulldogs are thought of right now, Green knows it means nothing if State can’t live up to the billing on the field.
That, he says, is what the next few weeks are all about – making sure MSU can hold up its end of the bargain so Green can have one last good run before he takes off his Bulldog jersey for the final time.

“We’re just working,” Green said. “We know we have to match those expectations with the work effort we put out every day. The higher the expectations, the harder we have to work and the harder we have to go.”