STARKVILLE | There will be more than 1,200 credentialed attendees for the SEC media days in Hoover, Ala., this week. The circus starts Tuesday and ends Thursday. This afternoon, us MSU writers got some quality time with some MSU players, so y’all can get a football fix two days before Dan Mullen and three of his players meet the media mob in Hoover.
Those three players all showed up today – quarterback Tyler Russell, defensive lineman Kaleb Eulls and linebacker Benardrick McKinney – plus three more. I’ll give you the first three now, and then then other three after I get to Hoover tonight.
Russell talked about his experience as an instructor at the Manning Passing Academy last week. His 7-on-7 team was undefeated, and it sounds like Russell had a good plan for his group.
“I had one person on each group basically call out the defense,” Russell said. “I said, ‘Y’all go play. Whatever defense you want to run, you can run a cover 3, a cover 2, and man. You just pick and go play.’ For offense I had cards and stuff drawn up, and I showed them what plays to run. It worked out pretty good.”
Russell said he enjoyed working with the kids and teaching them some of the things he’d learned at this camp as a high schooler, and some things he wishes he’d learned.
“In my drill we did three-step drops, so I just explained to them the ins and outs of a three-step drop, and we pretty much did it every day,” he said. “I had to change it up a little bit because they were starting to get impatient, but it helped me to be fast on my feet to try to come up with different things that we could do. It helped me out to be a leader as well.”
Russell said several of the young QBs had never taken a three-step drop, so he had to focus on a lot of basics. Oddly enough, the fifth-year senior is expected to be doing more three-step drops this fall, having taken a lot of snaps from under center this past spring.
“I love it. I didn’t think I was going to like it, but once I got my footwork down, it’s a whole lot easier as far as play fakes and different things like that.”
Even though Russell’s main job at the camp was to teach, he was still trying to soak up information from Peyton and Eli Manning and from other college quarterbacks.
“I just learned, when we first got down there we worked out with Peyton and Eli – they were very helpful,” Russell said. “They helped us out with pretty much anything we asked them about, as far as how you get guys to follow you, and how do you be a better leader. So I took everything they said, I had a pen and paper, and I was writing it down.”