In Saturday’s GameDay section you will find a story on MSU seniors Chad Bumphis and Johnthan Banks, both of whom were part of Dan Mullen‘s first signing class in 2009. They will be among those honored Saturday on senior day prior to playing Arkansas.
We spoke with Bumphis and Banks, as well as several other seniors, earlier this week. All of them expect emotions to run high, especially with the late Nick Bell being honored. His name is in the north end zone, and there will be a video tribute to him.
“You can’t ever honor him enough,” linebacker Cam Lawrence said. “Nick was a great guy. I’m glad we’re keeping him in mind every time we take the field.”
“When I first came in, he was redshirting. He was going to do some big things,” receiver Chris Smith said. “He made plays. Saturday coming up, senior year, we’re going to try to end it with a bang for him, because it would’ve been his last home game just like it’s going to be my last home game.”
Banks said he’s trying not to think about senior day. It’s tough to face the reality that this will be his last game at Davis Wade Stadium, the place where he first made a splash by getting two pick-sixes off the great Tim Tebow. Banks now has 16 career interceptions and has gone from small-town obscurity to All-American status.
“It’s kind of sad – it’s really sad,” Banks said. “I really don’t want to think about it, but it’s one of those things you’ve got to deal with and move on with life. Our fans have been great, been great to me. They’ve been great to my family.”
These guys are learning just how quickly time moves. Defensive tackle Josh Boyd said, “Four years go by fast. You don’t think about it, but it really does.”
Every senior has a load of good memories to draw on. When asked for his favorite one (within the context with the ups and downs of his career), Bumphis had a quick answer: “My favorite moment was my freshman year, my touchdown against Ole Miss. That’s easily my favorite. I wouldn’t say I was disappointed (in my bad times), because I’ve learned a lot of stuff here. I look at everything that didn’t come my way as a life lesson, just learn from it and get better from it.”
These players have seen senior days play out in the past, so it won’t be a totally foreign experience. But it will definitely be a new one.
“I remember two years ago when K.J. (Wright) and them were coming out or senior night, we were playing Arkansas, I got a little tear in my eye,” safety Corey Broomfield said. “I can only imagine what it’ll be like for myself.”