Marcus Green gets to wear the maroon and white of Mississippi State one more year, having been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA (CLICK HERE). The tight end from Scooba has had an injury-plagued career, but when he's been healthy, he's been pretty good.
I caught up with Green on the phone yesterday, and what follows is the bulk of our conversation about his return and what went into the decision-making process.
BL: How does it feel to have an extra year?
MG: It's beautiful, man. I got cleared up in the spring, and so everything was just handling paperwork and making sure everything was situated and correct. I wrote a letter to the NCAA asking for that extra year of eligibility, and they granted it to me. (MSU) had to handle some more paperwork as far as making sure the scholarship was available for me, being that I had waited so late to sign back for another year.
BL: What's it mean to you?
MG: It's beautiful, man. It's an honor. It really shows you how it's a privilege and an honor to be part of something special. When you get out in the real world, it ain't nothing like it. To come back and get another shot at winning another ring, and another shot at maybe potentially heading to the next level, everything's worked out. The main thing is just coming back and looking forward to being with the team. This team has got so much character to it, so I'm just excited to be a part of that.
BL: What did you do to stay in shape during the offseason, having not gone through spring practices?
MG: Before I decided to come back, I wanted to make sure my body was healthy. I needed some time off in the spring. Everybody thinks it's the offseason, but that's when you really grind and you really try to get stronger and faster. So for me it was just, I took a couple of months off. I wanted to see where I was headed with my life. As of right now I'm in grad school, so that was just one step. I kind of looked back over it and thought about the situation that coming back another year, it wasn't going to be so bad. I think I made the right decision.
BL: Were there any doubts about coming back for another year?
MG: It was just time off to let your body heal up. Being that I did that, deep down inside I really didn't want to give up playing ball, but I needed time to rest to let my body heal. You play banged up for so long, it can become mental. For me it was becoming miserable. It's not any fun being miserable, and that's when you need to give it up. For me, I needed some time off, I needed to heal. Once I done that, my whole attitude toward coming back, I was so excited, I was looking forward to it.
BL: How do you put the injuries (hip, knee) behind you?
MG: For me it was just fear. When you have these injuries, like the knee injury, the main thing is getting over the fear that something else is going to happen to you. When you've been out a year, it's kind of hard to come back and be in the flow of the game. It's one game at a time, one step at a time for me. I was excited to be able to play all 12 games, knowing that I played all 12 games, because in the end I hadn't really played a full season until last year and '09.
BL: What do you think your role will be this fall?
MG: It's whatever, man. I'm just happy to be a part of this team. … It's a team game, everybody's got a role. Whatever coach (Dan) Mullen, whatever the team needs me to do, I'm not going to be picky. My whole thing is honor and loyalty. I'm so loyal to Mississippi State that whatever the team needs me to do, I'll do it.
BL: When did you make the decision to return?
MG: I needed some time off to heal. First things first, you always want to leave your options open. I was coming to a couple of crossroads where I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. One thing I wanted to do was make sure I still had the eligibility. When that came, that kind of put the icing on the cake.