STARKVILLE -- When Dak Prescott became the Mississippi State football team's quarterback in 2014, many began to wonder what the 2016 season would be like. Fans and coaches wanted to enjoy Prescott's two seasons leading the Bulldogs, but there always was the thought of what would be next. That curiosity increased after Prescott broke 38 school records and led MSU to a victory against North Carolina State in the Belk Bowl last December.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin isn't saying much about the prospect of opening against his former team, Southern California. New defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt isn't dropping any hints of what he really thinks about his personnel. The Crimson Tide's two play callers took the podium Sunday for their annual -- and only -- preseason availability but offered few insights three practices into preseason camp. Pruitt takes over one of the nation's top defenses featuring NFL prospects like defensive end Jonathan Allen and linebackers Reuben Foster and Tim Williams. How much talent and potential does he see from his defense? Pruitt offers a non-answer answer.
WEST POINT - West Point junior Marcus Murphy considers himself a quick study.
SCOOBA - After leading East Mississippi Community College to its first National Junior College Athletic Association football national championship in 2011, coach Buddy Stephens called himself a "junior college lifer."
Danny Crawford was familiar with Noxubee County High School's athletic success from his time working in Oktibbeha and Lowndes counties.
Jason Trufant is going to have to talk to someone in information technology at Mississippi University for Women very soon.
STARKVILLE -- Lashard Durr will do anything to prove he is worthy of being a starter.
STARKVILLE -- Early in training camp, Dan Mullen doesn't want his players to get comfortable with the routine.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Alabama football team opened preseason camp in the wake of several summer arrests and departures and with a quarterback competition still going strong. Despite all that, the challenges remain pretty typical for the reigning national champions and have little or nothing to do with talent. There was no shortage of that when the Crimson Tide opened camp Thursday in the stifling heat of Alabama summers -- and Alabama's falls.
STARKVILLE -- Football wasn't Joey Claybrook's only concern when he was looking at colleges. Claybrook wanted to make sure he could have a top-notch academic experience and play football in college, so he was particular in where he looked. Claybrook received interest from Duke, one of the nation's top academic schools. He also heard from Tulane, which is in New Orleans. The Starkville High School senior offensive lineman became more interested in Tulane as he did his research about the school. Conversations with Tulane coach Willie Fritz and members of his coaching staff helped convince Claybrook, so he decided to make a verbal commitment July 20.
STARKVILLE -- Sweat rolled off Billy Gonzales' face Tuesday as he watched his young players in his position group. The Mississippi State wide receiver coach stood on the Jugs machine and barked out instructions as the Bulldogs ran through a drill involving two dummies acting as defenders and a cone that signaled where they were supposed to break down and turn back to him.
STARKVILLE -- A typical day for Maureen Whann starts at 4:30 a.m. Following the usual morning preparations, Whann drives one hour from Starkville to Tupelo to her job as a computer programmer. The second part of Whann's day begins when her 9-5 job is done and she travels back to Starkville and enters the Starkville High School gym for a vigorous three-hour practice.
FRENCH CAMP -- Shelby Sheedy doesn't mind a deliberate approach to racing. After all, he still is a relative newcomer to late model racing. The French Camp native, who is in his third season of Crate Late Models, has been racing since 2010. His four career feature wins came in 2013 in the Mini Stocks division.
When asked about his team's offensive game plan for this season, West Point High School junior Marcus Murphy thought about the question, smiled broadly, and said, "We might just be 50-50 this year. Let me emphasize might." Times are different for the West Point football program. The Green Wave began practice Monday, and will enter the season as one of the favorites to win the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A State title.
CALEDONIA -- Spencer Unruh's plan for the summer was to stay busy. While others might have kicked back and relaxed, the Caledonia High School standout wanted to use his "vacation" to put himself in front of as many college coaches as he could to raise his recruiting profile. Attending a Manning Camp in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and camps at Louisiana Tech, Samford, Alabama-Birmingham, Pearl High (Jim Harbaugh), East Mississippi Community College, Itawamba C.C., and Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. helped Unruh accomplish his goal.
STARKVILLE -- Martinas Rankin stepped on the Mississippi State campus in the spring of 2015 with a chance to win a starting spot. Coming out of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston, Rankin was the top-ranked junior college offensive lineman in the Class of 2015. When MSU signed him, making an immediate impact seemed inevitable.
STARKVILLE -- Carly Mauldin tried to prepare herself. There are plenty of pitfalls to encounter when you're jumping from high school to Division I, so Mauldin wanted to be ready in case she didn't see a lot of playing time. Coming from West Jones High in Laurel, Mauldin hoped to get a jump-start on her career at Mississippi State by enrolling in school in January 2016. The move enabled her to get an early start on her studies and gave her the opportunity to work out with the women's soccer team in the spring.
STARKVILLE -- Numbers don't mean a lot to Payton Harris. After all, it's not like she has time to stand straight up and keep tabs on her defensive success. If Harris did, she likely would get caught out of position, or, more embarrassingly, get six-packed, a volleyball term that refers to someone getting plunked in the head with a kill.
Allison Woolbright isn't going to allow youth to be an impediment for the New Hope High School volleyball team.
Well we finally did it.
1. Adams brothers back together again on field at MSU COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Columbus will try to beat Noxubee County to go to 2-0 HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Cherry, West Point open season against West Point HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Four Bulldogs named to Preseason Coaches All-SEC team COLLEGE SPORTS