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Getting to Know Your Golden Eagles

Oct. 13, 2006

Throughout the 2006 Golden Eagle Football season, a player from the offense, defense, and special teams will sit down for an interview with Southern Miss Athletic Media Relations Graduate Assistant Mallory Haynes and media relations intern Katlin Odems on what you need to know about Southern Miss Football.

This week will feature offensive lineman Ryan McKee, Linebacker James Denley and offensive lineman Chris Clark.

Ryan McKee

Give us your thoughts about the season so far? "We are never satisfied; we definitely should have won some of the games that we didn't win. I think on any given day we can go out there and beat anyone we want to, so we are definitely not satisfied so far."

Being that you earned a starting position as a sophomore, do you have great hopes for your future in football? "Yes I do. I am very privileged to be playing as a sophomore, and I really think that because I am developing skills early. I think I can develop into a great player."

Do you have any nicknames? "Big Red"

Why Southern Miss? "I chose Southern Miss because they were my only offer and it is a great program."

What is your favorite Southern Miss cheer? "S-O-U-T-H-E-R-N"

Who do you look up to on the team? "I look up to all the seniors, especially the veterans on the offensive line. I want to take after them because they are doing a great job."

Tell us little bit about the infamous dance you did last year in Memphis at an Italian restaurant. "It was just something I did last year, and it escaladed to Memphis and on national television. I kind of wish it didn't happen."

If you could be on any reality television show, what would it be? "I would want to be on Survivor."

Do you have any pre-game rituals? "I read the Bible and listen to music. I like to listen to R&B during pre game."

James Denley

What are your thoughts about the season so far? "We've got two losses and nobody wants to lose. I think we prepared better last week, but unfortunately we did not win. You can't get down. Last week is behind us and we need to look forward."

Tell us about your goals and expectations for this team not only this season but next year as well. "I want to bring the Nasty Bunch back to Southern Miss. I think that's something that isn't gone but hasn't resurfaced yet. I just want to do my part to keep that tradition."

How would you describe your playing style? "I like to run around and make plays. If the opportunity presents itself, I like to take the risk. You never know what's going to happen so I try to play full speed and do what I can to help the defense."

What aspects of your game do you need to improve? "I need to start playing off of my instincts and stop thinking so much. I need to go with my gut to make the play."

What do you think about the Houston team? "They're an explosive team. They're the number one scoring offense in Conference USA. They have a good quarterback and good running backs. We have to go out there and do our assignments and hope for a win."

Does the team feel more pressure to win during Homecoming? "Of course we do. When it's homecoming, there's going to be added pressure. We want to give the fans a good show and it matters because it's a conference game."

If you could be interviewed by any ESPN personality, who would you want it to be and why? "I would like to be interviewed by Stewart Scott because I like his attitude. He's bold and he gets to the point."

What do you want to do with a marketing degree? "After football, I want to be able go out and get a good job. I would like to go into pharmaceutical sales; I think that's right up my alley."

Why Southern Miss? "I chose Southern Miss because I felt comfortable during my visit, and I like the way they play defense. I think my ability matches the way we play defense."

What do you consider to be your mission out on the field? "My mission is to be a leader on the field and make plays to help the team win."

Chris Clark

What are your thoughts about the season far? "We're pretty good as a team. I like the way everything has been going and how everyone has been staying together no matter what the situation has been. I like the fact that we've responded to a lot of challenges, and made ourselves a running team. It's good to have that back in Southern Miss football."

After team meetings and studying film, what do you expect to see from Houston? "When I look at film I look at the way they move. They're pretty swift and they get everyone to the ball. It's on us to handle that; it starts with the O-line. We've got to run the ball and get this victory."

You were named the team's offensive player of the week. What does that mean to you? "That means a lot to me. The coaches talked to me at the beginning of the season about stepping up and being a leader. I'm a person who talks a lot, but I'm really big on leading by example. I think that's a part of the game."

What does it mean to you to be a Golden Eagle? "It's pumping my blood. I love Southern Miss and I'm glad to be here as a part of this team."

Does the team feel more pressured to win since its Homecoming? "Homecoming doesn't really matter. We're hopefully headed towards the Liberty Bowl and that's what we want. We are trying to get to our goal and move up."

Besides winning, what's most rewarding about being a college football player? "I'm from New Orleans and my mother had to leave during Hurricane Katrina to live in Dallas. She gets to see me play whenever we have a home and that really lights me up. I'm happy that she is so proud of me."

Do you have any superstitions? "I don't really have any superstitions, especially when it comes to football. I believe that you practice how you play. If you practice hard then you're going to play hard in the game."

If you could play any other position, which would it be and why? "I would have to say tight end, which is what I wanted to play ever since high school. In high school, I was a big guy but I was always fast. Since I was the biggest linemen, I always had to play offensive tackle. Because of that I never got the chance, but I wish I did."

Why do you think traditions are so important? "Tradition is important because it carries on. The younger guys that come in look at it and get the feeling they have to carry it on. No one wants the tradition to slip in their hands, and that makes it very important for a team to have tradition. A lot of people abide by the tradition and that is what they have to live up to."

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