December 29, 2011

McCardell finds a home

Last year Shane McCardell came to a crossroads in his career.

Having only played two years of high school football, McCardell signed with Mississippi State as a two-star defensive end in 2008. Midway through his third season in Starkville he moved to wide receiver for a few weeks before returning to defensive end where he finally found a permanent home.

"I was open to play anything," McCardell said. "If you teach me I'll learn. I was still pretty new to football altogether. I will say going over to receiver opened my eyes and I learned more about football overall so when I came back to defense it helped me out."

During the offseason the 6-foot-5 McCardell packed on an additional 20-pounds of muscle to his frame and has found a more prominent role on the defensive line in 2011.

"The heaviest I got up to was 265 but I felt kind of sluggish," McCardell said. "I dropped down to 255 now and I feel like that's my optimal weight and can perform at my highest level at that weight."

McCardell has appeared in all 12 games this fall making 12 tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and a pass breakup.

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