August 23, 2011 11:10:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- Shane McCardell has finally found a home at defensive end.
The objective for the Mississippi State football team is to keep him there as long as possible.
"I''d like to see him be an every-down guy," MSU defensive coordinator Chris Wilson said.
In his first two years at MSU, McCardell has been used at tight end and wide receiver in practices to make up for depth concerns.
"That''s the kind of guy I am," McCardell said.
That mix-and-mash attitude is typical from a player who has had only four years of football training prior to this season. After playing football for only two years in high school, McCardell was an outstanding basketball player and track and field athlete who just seemed to find his way to the football field.
The 265-pound McCardell, who was permanently back on defense by the fifth week last season, recorded his first sack and a tackle for a loss at Houston in his first action.
This season, the junior is fighting for even more playing time. He stressed a bigger goal when asked what he would consider a successful season.
"I don''t know, maybe leading the Southeastern Conference in sacks this season. That would be good," McCardell said.
Wilson has different goals and has set a lower ceiling for his defensive end.
"Shane has the ability to be a pass rushing specialist, but I''d like to see him be on the field for all three downs," Wilson said. "He''s shown he can rush the passer, but now he''s got to take that athleticism to stopping the run."
Wilson admits his system won''t be much different in than the one Manny Diaz directed last season. He said the Bulldogs will use blitzes and disguises that could suit McCardell''s style.
After a practice last week, McCardell, a Beaumont, Texas, native said he sometimes prefers playing in coverage in what typically would be the role of a linebacker over attacking the quarterback or ball carrier.
"The way I see it is ''Why should a linebacker have to drop and cover a
tight end when I can do that job, too?" McCardell said. "I want to show them I can do anything on the field whenever they ask me. That''s how I want to be remembered."
Wilson and the coaches understand the onus for replacing NFL draftee Pernell McPhee is going to fall on a guy who was catching passes from Chris Relf in practice not more than a year ago.
"We''re trying to create mismatches for Shane this season, no doubt about that," Wilson said. "Shane has a special gift of speed, and he allows us to get creative with his athleticism that''s unique to the position."
Trio to be inducted to Mississippi State Sports Hall of Fame
Former football coach Jackie Sherrill, basketball standout Jeff Malone, and tennis star Hugh Thomson will represent the 2011 class of the Mississippi State University Sports Hall of Fame, the M-Club announced Monday.
The trio will be inducted into the Hall of Fame and honored Oct. 15 prior to the MSU-South Carolina football game.
Sherrill is the school''s all-time winningest and longest-tenured football coach. He won 75 career victories from 1991-2003. He led the Bulldogs to the Southeastern Conference championship game in 1998, and his teams won 33 games from 1997-2000. He is a member of the Cotton, Gator, and Independence Bowl halls of fame, and the athletic halls of fame at Texas A&M and at the University of Pittsburgh.
A three-time All-SEC selection and two-time All-American, Malone
still holds MSU records for career and single-season points scored, and career and single-season field goals made. He led the SEC in scoring in 1982-83 and was named the league''s player of the year.
Following his career at State, Malone was the 10th pick in the 1983 NBA draft, and was a two-time NBA All-Star.
Former tennis great Thomson lettered in tennis, track and field, and cross country from 1966-68. A three-time second-team All-SEC selection, Thomson helped lead the tennis Bulldogs to the SEC team title in 1967 and second-place finishes in 1966 and 1968. The Bulldogs finished third, third, and 13th nationally in the three-year stretch.
Individually, Thomson posted a 54-2 record against SEC competition
from 1965-68, and won seven SEC individual titles (three singles, four
Following his career at MSU, Thomson began a career in coaching. He led the MSU tennis squad in 1969-70, was twice named Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year (1979-80) at th University of Alabama at Birmingham, and won two SEC titles at Auburn in 1983 and 1984.