November 20, 2008

Catching up with Cortez McCraney

Cortez McCraney's career path did not include Mississippi State coming out of Southaven High School in 2004.

The 6-foot-4, 272-pound defensive lineman chose to stay close to home and attend the University of Memphis. But after two seasons with the Tigers, McCraney chose a different route and headed south to Mississippi State.

"The coaches and I didn't see eye-to-eye," McCraney said. "So I decided to transfer here. (Mississippi State) offered me a scholarship out of high school and my dad always wanted me to come here. I chose to go to Memphis because I am from Memphis. Things didn't work out so I came here and things have gone well."

McCraney remembered the Bulldogs when it came time to transfer after playing in 11 games as a redshirt freshman defensive end at Memphis.

"Coach (Brick) Hailey was the guy that recruited me," McCraney said. "I felt like he was a great coach along with Coach (Sylvester) Croom. We had a home visit and my dad liked him. It was an opportunity to play in the SEC and I couldn't turn that down again. I'm happy here. I wish I would have came here out of high school."

Since his arrival in Starkville, McCraney has played in 22 career games and made 13 starts at both defensive end and defensive tackle. He has accumulated 56 total tackles, eight tackles for loss, three sacks and one pass deflection. McCraney posted 10 tackles and 0.5 tackle for loss while with the Tigers.

This season has been the best of McCraney's career picking up 32 total tackles (14 solo, 18 assists), 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, one pass deflection and four quarterback hurries. He has earned the starting call in nine of 10 games for MSU this year.



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