MSU RB Nick Griffin Photo by: MSU Media Relations
August 14, 2014 12:39:54 PM
Mississippi State's running back situation could be as competitive as its been under head coach Dan Mullen. Entering Mullen's sixth season, the Bulldogs are looking to replace departed senior Ladarius Perkins, a two-year starter. And fighting to fill that spot is a group that includes redshirt junior Josh Robinson, senior Nick Griffin and sophomore Ashton Shumpert. Additionally, MSU added a pair of talented ballcarriers in the 2014 recruiting class in freshmen Aeris Williams and Dontavian Lee, and both are making their presence felt in the fight for playing time, according to MSU RBs coach Greg Knox.
"The two freshmen, they are both proving they can play in this league," said Knox. "I don't think I've ever had this many quality backs at the same time."
Williams, the reigning Mr. Football in Mississippi, rushed for 1,697 yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior at West Point while Lee is a 6-foot-1, 220-pound tailback from Forrest County AHS.
"They run hard, and they work hard," said Knox. "That's what we are looking for."
Griffin 'close': Griffin, a senior from Perry Central, is still battling back after suffering the second ACL tear of his career. Asked about Griffin's fight to return to full health, Knox said, "He's close. We talked back in the spring and he was getting there. Now, I would say he's on the verge. We're starting to see more explosive runs out of him."