July 31, 2009 12:26:00 PM
Danny P Smith -
STARKVILLE -- The wide receiver position at Mississippi State has taken a hit in the past two weeks.
The departures of Terrance Davis and Delmon Robinson from the program subtracts two potential weapons from coach Dan Mullen''s spread offense.
Davis, who has already signed with the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, expected to get playing time with the Bulldogs after redshirting as a freshman and going through a promising spring.
Robinson caught 12 passes for 125 yards last year as a freshman.
Senior quarterback Tyson Lee, of Columbus, would have liked to have thrown to Davis and Robinson this season, but he is ready to move forward with what''s available.
"I wish them the best in life and football if they continue to do that," Lee said. "You can''t worry about it anymore. We''ve got new guys who have come in to fill other roles and the two guys who left we don''t look back, we just look forward, and try to get better the best we can."
The receivers who remain at MSU also hated to see Davis and Robinson leave, but there''s no time to dwell on the situation with the start of preseason practice Monday.
"We had a couple of guys get real excited because they had worked for playing time," junior receiver Leon Berry said. "It was crazy that happened because they were good, but we''ve got a lot of receivers, so we need a lot of reps."
MSU still has Berry, redshirt freshman O''Neal Wilder, redshirt freshman Charles Bailey, senior Tay Bowser, senior Brandon McRae, and signees Chad Bumphis, Brandon Heavens, Chris Smith, Mardrecas Hood, and Ricco Sanders.
After sitting out last season with a knee injury, Wilder is anxious to start practice.
"I''m looking forward to being out there at 100 percent so I can give it my all," Wilder said.
Berry said the summer conditioning work everyone did with strength coach Matt Balis was necessary and helped prepare the players for Monday.
"(Balis) wants us to do drills to make us tired before we run because it''s going to be like that in the fourth quarter," Berry said.
Berry said he did some extra work Thursday to loosen up a sore hamstring before a team meeting.
Even though the receivers have faced some adversity, Wilder said there appears to be plenty of team unity heading into the start of practice.
"Everyone on the team is in all of the way," Wilder said. "We''ve been through a lot together and it has brought us closer."
n First week of practice: The Bulldogs'' first week of fall practices will be open to the public.
MSU will practice once each day at the Holliman Center Practice Complex from Monday through Friday as it adheres to the NCAA five-day acclimation period.
The Bulldogs will arrive on campus Sunday, and the varsity roster will gather for a first-day team meeting.
The staff will conduct a split practice Monday, with the freshmen going through a closed morning session before the varsity roster takes to the practice fields in the afternoon.
The full roster will practice together Tuesday and Wednesday evenings before a pair of morning workouts to close the week. When the team begins two-a-day workouts Aug. 8.
Practices will be closed to the public for the remainder of the season.
Fans will have a final opportunity to see their Bulldogs before the Sept. 5 season opener against Jackson State as the team will hold its Fan Day at 11 a.m. Aug. 29 at the Palmeiro Center.
The team and coaches will sign autographs from noon until 2 p.m.
n Holmes chosen P.A. announcer: There will be a new public address announcer for football and men''s basketball at Mississippi State this year.
Jonathan Holmes, of Eupora, has been chosen to replace Hank Flick, who was the public address announcer for three decades.
Holmes, 40, was the public address announcer for women''s basketball and also previously worked at WFCA-FM radio. He helped other radio stations as a football play-by-play announcer.
Fifty candidates applied for the position, and three auditioned at Scott Field.
Holmes was behind the microphone at Maroon-White Spring Game on April 18.