April 2, 2013 8:28:29 PM
STARKVILLE - Tuesday afternoon at the Mississippi State University spring football practice had a high attendance as it was faculty day at the practice fields where MSU faculty were welcome to attend with the general public.
On the practice fields, it was a big day for the skill position players in drills and scrimmage work. The new-look wide receivers had some highlight moments as the went through another day of installation of the playbook. These moments where the speed of these receivers were on showcase was the epitome of how MSU coach Dan Mullen describes the spring training process where players may not know what they're doing but the Bulldogs fifth-year coach expects them to do that fast and with energy.
"If we have to coach effort out of somebody, they're going to have a hard time getting on the field," Mullen said on March 20. "Not that we won't demand it. I'll be honest with you, a lot of times guys think they're going hard. Especially young players, they think they're going hard and you go watch them and the reality on film is they're not. So you're still coaching that effort aspect of it to show them you can go a lot harder than you're going even though you think you're going as hard as you can. That's just the young player mentality."
Here's some bullet points of notes from Tuesday's workout:
MSU junior college transfer wide receiver Jeremy Chapelle, who Bulldogs offensive coordinator Les Koenning has been raving about since he signed in February, had a couple of really nice catches in one-on-one drills and scrimmage plays against MSU's first-team cornerbacks of Jamerson Love and Justin Cox. Chapelle has not only the initial burst speed that can get separation off the line of scrimmage and the athleticism to get a jump ball over a smaller defensive back.
MSU sophomore-to-be wide receiver Fred Brown became a consistent target for Bulldogs quarterback Tyler Russell Tuesday on crossing routes and on deep balls over the top of the cover-2 defense.
The first pair of players on the kickoff drills were junior-to-be Jameon Lewis and sophomore-to-be Robert Johnson. The other players returning kicks were Jamerson Love, Brandon Holloway and Cedric Jiles today.
For the third consecutive scrimmage, MSU junior cornerback Justin Cox (a East Mississippi Community College transfer) received an interception on a pass over the middle by Bulldogs walk-on quarterback Sam Cowart. The other interception on the day was sophomore Jay Hughes on a tipped pass off the middle.
Damien Robinson spent the entire practice working with the first-team offensive line at right tackle as the first week of practices saw senior Charles Siddoway in that spot. Robinson, the former four-star recruit from Olive Branch High School, has seen action in only 13 games and just on field goal and extra-point duties.
The final outside linebacker spot on the first team unit rotated between Matthew Wells and Chris Hughes. The duo was put with Benardrick McKinney and Deontae Skinner on the first unit of Geoff Collins' linebacker unit. The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog will have a feature on the experience and depth at linebacker as Collins takes over defensive coordinator duties in Wednesday's edition of the print edition (please buy a copy - it'll make my bosses happy).
The Bulldogs will be back on the practice field Thursday starting at 4 p.m. when they have their final practice before a noon scrimmage at Davis Wade Stadium on Saturday.
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