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News and notes: Heat check, safety issues and film study


Defensive end Preston Smith

Defensive end Preston Smith Photo by: MSU Media Relations




Heat returns 


During Mississippi State's initial press availability on the day players reported for fall practice, senior defensive end Preston Smith made note of how lucky the Bulldogs were by returning to work during an unseasonably cool summer. That lasted all of two days. 


"It turned on us quick," said Smith with a smile on Thursday. "It seemed like it jumped from the 70's and 80's straight to the 100's. I guess I jinxed us." 


Average temperatures for MSU's practices this week have hovered in the low-to-mid 90's. 




Comfortable with rotation 


Sophomore Kivon Coman is one of two MSU defenders, with senior Justin Cox being the other, making the switch from cornerback to safety this fall. A safety in high school, Coman recorded 62 tackles and four interceptions at Florence (Ala.) High and later posted 57 total tackles at Harvgrave (Va.) Military Academy. Now joining the safety group at MSU, Coman believes the Bulldogs have a wealth of options with himself, Cox, senior Jay Hughes and sophomore Deontay Evans. 


"There's not a dropoff," said Coman. "I played corner with Justin last year and we're both making the switch. I think between me and him, Jay and Deontay, that's four guys who can play any down, any situation." 


Coman played in 12 games as a freshman and delivered 15 total tackles. At safety, MSU's 2014 group will be tasked with replacing the 55 tackles and five interceptions lost with the graduation of Nickoe Whitley. 




What Brown can do for MSU 


Sophomore Beniquez Brown emerged as a playmaker at linebacker for MSU late in the 2013 seasons, starting the last three games in relief of senior Deontae Skinner. 


Now in his second season, the Florence, Alabama, product has a firm grip on a starting position alongside senior Matthew Wells and Benardrick McKinney. 


And accordingly, the sophomore is trying to improve his game in all phases, starting with the film room. 


"This year is all my preparation, how I watch film," Brown said. "Last year when I watched film, I watched it but when I got on the field it was kind of instinctive." 




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