By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
Marcus Green’s love for playing football is stronger than the fear of its inherent dangers, of which he’s quite familiar.
That’s what led the Mississippi State tight end to apply for a sixth year of eligibility, which the NCAA granted in the spring, the school announced Thursday. Green, who’s had two seasons cut short by injuries, said after spending some time to rest his body and consider his options, he just couldn’t give up the game.
“You play banged up for so long, it can become mental,” he said. “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 did that, my whole attitude toward coming back, I was so excited, I was looking forward to it.”
Green said he’s gotten over the fear of getting injured again. As a redshirt freshman in 2008, a hip injury ended his season after just two games. Then in 2010, knee surgery again sidelined him two games in.
The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Scooba native, who prepped at Kemper County, played full seasons in 2009 and 2011. The former was Green’s most productive season, when he caught 27 passes for 306 yards and three touchdowns.
Last year, he made 11 catches for 188 yards and a TD while sharing time with Malcolm Johnson.
Green said he considered going into coaching this year, but he went ahead and wrote a letter to the NCAA requesting an extra season. Once it was approved, MSU had to make sure there was a scholarship available for Green, which there was.
After sitting out the spring, Green has been working out with teammates since June.
“I wasn’t ready to give up ball. I wasn’t ready to stop playing,” he said.
Johnson, a third-year sophomore, is back and expected to start at tight end. Green will add depth and easily has the most experience among the group, and he’s willing to accept whatever role is given him.
“Whatever coach (Dan) Mullen, whatever the team needs me to do, I’m not going to be picky,” he said. “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.”