In his first season at East Mississippi Community College, defensive end Denico Autry collected 60 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss and six sacks, despite missing three games with injury. Gearing up for his sophomore campaign, the 6-foot-6 and 250-pound Autry and his teammates recently opened up spring practice.
"We're just trying to pick up where we left off last year," said Autry, who also forced five fumbles and had three fumble recoveries in 2010. "We made the playoffs last year but we have to do better and go farther this year. We've got a lot of guys back and we have some good experience.
"On defense, we should be pretty quick and we have a lot back up front. For myself, I am working on my pass rush and stopping the run better. Those are the main two things I am looking to improve."
The North Carolina native has already collected his share of SEC offers this year, including the likes of Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Arkansas. However, his latest offer came from the Pac 10.
"My latest offer was from Oregon and that was a good offer to get," said Autry. "I have offers from all over and distance is not going to be a factor in my decision."
Also this spring, Autry has been able to check out a couple of SEC programs in the Magnolia State and did so this past weekend.
"I went to Mississippi State on Friday and then Ole Miss the next day," said Autry. "Both visits were good and it was good to see both programs. We got there a little late at Mississippi State but I still got to see some of their guys. I know Tobias Smith and Quentin Saulsberry on their team and I've gotten to know those guys pretty well and some other players, too.
"After this weekend, Mississippi State is even higher on my list. I just feel comfortable there and they are very high on my list. I like their coaches a lot, especially Coach (Tony) Hughes and he is a great guy."
Expected to be a December graduate, Autry noted that studying depth charts is among his factors when decision time arrives.
"I am just looking at depth charts," said Autry. "And I am also looking at what kind of teams these schools will have next year. I have looked at depth charts at Mississippi State, Florida and Oklahoma State and investigated those depth charts. All of them have defensive ends that are older and will be leaving soon."