STARKVILLE –– Mississippi State entered the second week of preseason football practice Monday and none of the players are confident enough to say they have earned a starting position. Senior quarterback Tyson Lee, of Columbus, said there’s competition at every position, which is just the way coach Dan Mullen wants it. “It’s wide open on offense and defense,” Lee said. “Coach continues to stress that. Whoever wants the job, that’s who he is going to give it to.”
STARKVILLE — Jenny Hazelwood’s excitement is contagious. It took only one hour in the team’s first meeting Thursday for the new Mississippi State volleyball coach to get her players fired up. That energy carried over to the court Friday when the team opened its preseason with a pair of practices. “She is 100 percent invested in our program,” senior setter Dorey Gray said Friday. “She is so good at inspiring us and knowing when to say the right things to us.”
STARKVILLE — The Humphrey Coliseum at Mississippi State is going through some changes. In the past few weeks, new lighting has been installed and upgraded in the arena and a new arrangement of banners has been put in place. Renovations to the women’s basketball locker room recently were completed, and the men’s locker room is being refurbished. The installation of a new basketball court with new MSU marks and logos is another piece of the athletic department’s $2.1 million investment to enhance all of the facilities on campus.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State opened two-a-day football practices on Saturday with a two-hour session in the morning and a shorter workout in the afternoon. The Bulldogs have changed locations from the football practice fields to the intramural field where they could be alone. Well, almost. “We’re in training camp now and it’s a work-oriented location,” Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen said. “We’re away from the fans and the media. When we got out there, it was just us and the cows. The cows were up on a hill in the next field over. They were out early. We might have to get up and go earlier (today) so we can beat the cows out to work.”
STARKVILLE -- Derek Sherrod has always had a family member available to encourage him at Mississippi State. He just didn’t always realize it. One of the reasons Sherrod chose to play at Mississippi State was because his older brother, Dezmond, was already there as a tight end in Sylvester Croom’s West Coast offense. After Dezmond graduated and signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Derek missed having a family member around. That’s until Sherrod found out he had a cousin also with the Bulldogs in Tobias Smith.
STARKVILLE — The intensity seemed to rise with the temperatures Thursday morning at the Mississippi State football practice fields. The Bulldogs seemed to take things a little more seriously in their second day in pads. “They came out better than (Wednesday),” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said. “They weren’t really used to being in pads, but this was what we expect our normal practices to look like.”
STARKVILLE — Jenny Hazelwood knows how to surprise people. In coaching stops at Centenary College (La.) and at Austin Peay, the former Mississippi State volleyball player has exceeded expectations and helped her programs reach new levels of success. Hazelwood believes she can follow that same formula at MSU.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen’s face lit up when he heard the news. Mississippi State announced Tuesday it has set a school record in season-ticket sales, and finished the day at 38,469. That total includes 10,000 student tickets that will go on sale when classes begin on Aug. 17. Although Mullen is pleased about the new record, he won’t be satisfied until his goal of 40,000 season tickets sold has been met. He plans to keep promoting until it happens.
STARKVILLE — It’s too early to tell about Tyler Russell. That’s the impression most people had about the Mississippi State freshman quarterback after his first practice Tuesday with the full squad. The freshmen and varsity held separate workouts to open preseason drills Monday. Russell seemed to hold his own with the other quarterbacks in the near three-hour session that lasted into the night.
STARKVILLE — It was in with the old and the new Monday at Mississippi State as the football team opened preseason practice with two sessions. The freshmen and newcomers worked out for an hour and a half in the morning, while the varsity team members spent nearly three hours in the afternoon brushing up on what they learned in the spring.
The NCAA notified Donald Jackson, the attorney for Mississippi State basketball signee Renardo Sidney, by an e-mail Monday morning that he wouldn’t be permitted to participate in interviews of third parties unless he signed a statement of confidentiality.
Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen appears to have left the door open for a quarterback controversy. Although senior Tyson Lee, of Columbus, appears to be the front-runner Monday entering the start of preseason football practice, there are indications Mullen isn’t completely satisfied with the position.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State is approaching a record for season-ticket sales. A little more than a month before MSU faces Jackson State on Sept. 5 in Starkville, the school’s ticket office announced it has sold 37,523 season tickets.
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.
Buddy Stephens can’t find enough adjectives to describe how excited he is to begin the 2009 season. There apparently are plenty of people throughout the country who share Stephens’ excitement.
Donald Jackson, the attorney for the family of Mississippi State men’s basketball signee Renardo Sidney, said the recent comments by former University of Southern California coach Tim Floyd can only help his client’s case.
Former Mississippi State pitcher Jared Wesson wasn’t sure the opportunity was going to come. After his name failed to come up one month after the Major League Baseball First-Player Draft, he began to wonder if any organization would take a chance on him.
WEST POINT — West Point High School offensive and defensive lineman Curtis Virges likes the direction coach Dan Mullen is taking the Mississippi State football program. Even though the Bulldogs haven’t taken the field this season, Virges has been impressed with how Mullen prepares the team.
Mississippi State is losing one of its pitchers to professional baseball. Right-hander Ricky Bowen will skip his senior season with the Bulldogs and has signed with the Cincinnati Reds. He reported to the Billings (Montana) Mustangs of the Pioneer League on Monday.
People will be talking this weekend about Tyrone Keys. But while the topic — football — will be the same, the memories from all of the teams Keys played on will be different.
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