I’m a natural-born procrastinator, so this is why the Blog Bag answers are three days late. My apologies, but here you go. Good questions about the football team as it goes through preseason camp.
Q: Do you see any true freshmen making an impact this season, outside of Chris Jones? How about juco transfers? Justin Cox seems like the most obvious with our holes in the secondary.
A: I do expect Jones to find his way on the field, although it’s not a given. The other freshman I really like is receiver Fred Ross. He’s got good size, good athleticism and from what I’ve seen, good hands. I think he’s versatile enough to play both in the slot and outside.
As for jucos, Cox is a favorite to start at cornerback. The other juco transfer in this class is receiver Jeremey Chappelle, who is in line to be in the two-deep and could even wind up a starter. I like what he brings to the offense.
Q: In your opinion, would Dan Mullen begin to get a hot seat if the team has a losing season this year? If there was one area of the coaching staff that needs to be revamped, what do you think it is?
A: I don’t know that one losing season after three consecutive winning seasons would put him on the hot seat, although it would certainly cause some grumbling among the fans. This is one brutal schedule MSU is facing, and getting bowl eligible won’t be easy.
As for revamping the coaching staff, Mullen has made some strong hires over the years. But there’s one position that’s had some questions marks: offensive line. John Hevesy has worked with Mullen for a long time, but if improvement isn’t made this season, Mullen might have a decision to make there.
Q: How’s Damian Williams looking? I realize he’s probably going to redshirt this year and probably hasn’t begun to grasp the offense yet; but at this point he is our emergency QB, so I’m just curious.
A: As you might expect, Williams has struggled early on. He’s been erratic with his throws, but it’s still early in camp. We know he’s a good athlete, and MSU’s coaches have a good track record of developing quarterbacks. Starter Tyler Russell has been mentoring Williams.
“I told him, just take your time, watch me,” Russell said after Friday’s practice. “If you need something, let me know; I’ll help you out. He’s been learning real fast, so that was real good.”