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March 22, 2011It was hard for Jamerson Love to get used to the idea of not playing running back at the college level.
After all, Love was one of the most prolific backs in the Magnolia State in 2009 with over 2,000 yards of offense and 27 touchdowns as a senior at Aberdeen High School. But Mississippi State convinced him to commit with the intentions of playing cornerback and is a situation that is now working out for both.
"It's played out real good for me," Love said. "I've learned a lot after spending almost a whole year in the system. I don't even care about getting the ball anymore as long as I do my side on defense and stopping the main player who needs to be stopped."
Part of Love's maturation comes for a redshirt season this past fall where he learned to adapt to his new responsibilities on defense. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder rarely played in the secondary in high school so naturally there was a lot to learn once he arrived in Starkville.
"I really think that redshirt year helped me a lot," Love said. "I got bigger, faster and stronger. I know when I first came in I wasn't as big as I thought I was. I couldn't tackle real good but I got better at all the basic things to make me a better player."
The former three-star recruit rushed 195 times for 1,773 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2009 and also hauled in 18 passes for 434 yards and six more scores helping lead the Bulldogs to the Class 3A state title game. Love also earned first team, All-State honors as well as playing in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.
But making the transition from Class 3A into the Southeastern Conference was even more of a challenge than even Love anticipated.
"That's a major, major jump," Love said. "I was used to seeing players my size and then I come here and I'm the smallest player on the team. That was a major change for me."
During the recruiting process, Love also picked up offers from Arkansas State and Southern Miss as well.
Love is continuing to work this spring trying to improve different aspects of his game that will help him crack the MSU depth chart in the fall.
"It's going good," Love said. "I'm just getting used to everything again. I'm learning a new defense and trying to work on my techniques and being more physical out there."