Blog Bag Answers: Crootin’, Coordinators and Kicking

Hey, lots of good questions this week, and a couple of them had to do with recruiting. So we’ll hit those up, and then we’ll examine the possibility of a broken leg epidemic and my flag football skillz.

Q: Brad, what do you think about MSU getting a commitment from a freshman? Ridiculous? Even worth it?

A: The kid of which you speak is running back Robert Washington, who is a freshman at Southlake Christian Academy in Huntersville, N.C. Such an early commitment does border on ridiculous, yes, but I hear the kid will be very highly rated once the recruiting sites start assigning him stars. Certainly doesn’t hurt anything on MSU’s end, but I wonder if he’ll actually stick with the commitment.

Q: I have been looking at the men’s national basketball top 100 prospects and none are listed as coming to MSU. What do you see on the horizon for quality basketball players playing for MSU under our new coaching staff?

A: Well, there were the three guys who just signed, and 6-foot-10 Fallou Ndoye is expected to join them soon. I’ve heard very good things about him. MSU has one 2014 commitment, shooting guard Maurice Dunlap of Amanda Elzy in Greenwood.

Are any of these guys five-star prospects? No, but Rick Ray has a strong recruiting background, and it shouldn’t take him long to become established in the region and wherever else he chooses to recruit. I always take recruiting rankings with a grain of salt, especially in basketball. But I do think you’ll see Ray snag some highly rated guys.

Q: Is it unreasonable for us as MSU fans to want a change at defensive or offensive coordinator?

A: I wouldn’t say it’s unreasonable, but I don’t know that Chris Wilson and Les Koenning are bad coaches. I’ve seen some encouraging things in terms of player development, and I’ve seen some things that could be cause for discouragement as well. Obviously scheming and play-calling are areas where fans are frustrated. I’m not smart enough to know whether Wilson and Koenning are adept at that.

But, I don’t know that Dan Mullen will make any moves with those guys after the season.

Q: Can you ask Mullen if he thinks our struggles against Arkansas have any relation to playing the Egg Bowl the week after every year?

A: I asked, and this was his reply: “No. Last year we played the game, and Tyler Wilson had a career day against us, We lost in double-overtime the year before against a good team. Since I’ve been here they’ve been a pretty good team the last couple of years. Started this season as a top-10 football team, so we know they have a lot of talent on the roster, and they’ve been through some ups and downs, but we have to expect a top-10 team coming into play us this week.”

Q: Please ask Mullen: If all the kickers and punters on the team broke their legs warming up, what non-kicker would you turn to punt and kick field goals?

A: Sorry, but this question was asked after Mullen’s final media availability of the week. Plus, it’s kind of a silly question and for some reason reminds me of this scene from King Ralph. I know Chad Bumphis was a really good punter in high school, but not sure who could kick field goals and such.

Q: What is Dan’s realistic expectation for the opponent’s starting field position on a kickoff? To me inside the 20 would be the goal each kickoff, but we rarely hit that mark. I know he has to be disappointed in the kick coverage.

A: Again, wasn’t asked in time, but I’m sure he’s fine with Devon Bell putting it into the end zone, especially given MSU’s struggles in kick coverage. The Bulldogs rank 12th in the SEC in kickoff coverage. Bell has recorded 12 touchbacks on 46 kickoffs.

Q: Any news to report on the potential recruiting violations committed by Angelo Mirando? Haven’t heard anything in a long time.

A: Yeah, been a curiously long time, hasn’t it? We were told nearly three months ago that the NCAA and MSU were “nearing the end of this examination, and it is our intent to provide additional details when it is complete.” Don’t know what to tell you.

Q: If all the beat writers that hang around Starkville on a regular basis put a flag football teams together, what position would you play?

A: Cornerback and receiver. I’m not fast or quick, but I’m tenacious and have great hands. I would dominate Bob Carskadon.

I am the online content coordinator for I also co-host The Memo and Prep Rally podcasts and host the Newsbreak program. Previously at the Journal, I covered Mississippi State athletics (2008-13), high schools (2004-08), and was on the copy desk (2002-04).

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