MSU OT Damien Robinson Photo by: MSU Media Relations
August 18, 2014 7:56:44 PM
MSU loses starting RT Robinson to ACL injury
By Brandon Walker
STARKVILLE - One of the biggest questions facing head coach Dan Mullen and the Mississippi State Bulldogs entering the 2014 season has revolved around which player will step up and inherit the right tackle position from two-year starter Charles Siddoway.
After the Bulldogs' final preseason scrimmage took place last Friday night, that question looms even larger.
Senior offensive lineman Damien Robinson, a 6-foot-8, 325-pounder from Olive Branch, was lost for the season after tearing his ACL in the Friday night scrimmage at Davis Wade Stadium. The injury, and subsequent blow to MSU's offensive line, was confirmed by Mullen Monday night.
"That's one place where we don't have a lot of depth," said Mullen. "But guys will have to step up."
Mullen mentioned players like sophomore Justin Senior, junior Rufus Warren and sophomore Cole Carter, a Caledonia High School product, as possible replacements for Robinson, who has played in 37 games during his Bulldog career after signing with MSU in 2010.
The sixth-year head coach also said "A guy like Justin Malone could move over there and play, and we bring in Jamaal Clayborn."
Malone, a 6-foot-7, 320-pound junior, was MSU's starting right guard before missing much of the 2013 season with an injury of his own while Clayborn played in seven games during his freshman season.
Robinson is the second MSU player lost for the season in fall camp. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Shelby Christy was sidelined early last week with an ACL tear.
Cooper, Durr at Copiah-Lincoln: Mullen also announced that Deshon Cooper, a freshman linebacker from Atlanta who had been practicing with the team while awaiting academic clearance from the NCAA, has enrolled at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Cooper, at 6-foot-2, 209 pounds, was a three-star prospect out of Atlanta's Columbia High School.
Cooper will join fellow MSU signee Lashard Durr, a cornerback from Harrison Central, at Co-Lin, which is ranked No. 3 in the NJCAA's preseason national ranking.
MSU already has a pair of commitments, WR Donald Gray and DE Jonathan Calvin.
Getting on the Bus: Jerome Bettis, a former Super Bowl winner and perennial All-Pro performer with the Pittsburgh Steelers, was a surprise guest at MSU's fall football camp over the weekend. Bettis spoke to the team for just over five minutes after the Bulldogs' final practice of the day.
"It was good," said Mullen. "He and I and coach Deshea (Townsend, MSU's CBs coach) were talking before he went out there. And we said 'Just go out there and tell them how you've gotten to where you are today.' And he did. It's not every day that you have a future hall of famer come in and talk to your players. The kids will listen to a guy like him."