Mississippi State worked for two hours on Saturday morning for its second bowl practice as graduation was going on simultaneously inside Humphrey Coliseum.
Here are a few observations I jotted down in my handy dandy green notebook from this morning’s practice…
Like the initial weeks of most bowl practices, most of the starters were held out of the scrimmage portion of practice. Some went through a few individual and positional drills before being shut down for the day.
Early high school graduate Nick Fitzgerald arrived on campus yesterday and took second team reps at quarterback. In fact, Fitzgerald was nearly 50-50 rep-wise with freshman Damian Williams. Fitzgerald had not even seen a playbook until Friday and did a lot of scrambling around, which is his strength.
Junior Dee Arrington was back practicing and worked at linebacker. Redshirt freshmen Gus Walley (tight end), Jordan Washington (defensive tackle) and Torrey Dale (defensive end) were also back at practice after missing most, if not all, of the season due to injury.
Junior Justin Cox worked at safety, where he was a standout at East Mississippi Community College. Cox made a nice break on the ball to swat away a Fitzgerald pass.
Freshman Gabe Myles practiced as a wide receiver after working as a cornerback most of the fall.
Redshirt freshman cornerback Cedric Jiles scooped up a fumble and scored from 20-yards out.
Sophomore running back Derrick Milton made a nice catch out of the backfield in the flats and turned it up field for a nice gain.
Sophomore defensive tackle Quay Evans and freshman wide receiver De’Runnya Wilson were not at practice.
Junior defensive tackle P.J. Jones, of Tupelo, did some individual drills early but sat out of the scrimmage with a boot on his left foot. Senior safety Nickoe Whitley was on crutches at practice and a immobilizer on his left knee following ACL surgery last week. Senior quarterback Tyler Russell was also at practice in street clothes working with Fitzgerald.
Junior tight end Brandon Hill was also in sweats with a boot on his right foot. Senior tackle Charles Siddoway, sophomore guard Justin Malone, junior safety Jay Hughes and junior linebacker Ferlando Bohanna were all in street clothes and did not participate in practice.
Former offensive lineman Eric Lawson attended practice.
Sophomore defensive tackle Nick James looked in much better shape than I’ve ever seen him. He’s trimmed down and even had a sack of Fitzgerald. Might as well get ready for a 15-yard penalty should he ever make a sack in an actual game. His celebration after a sack is something to see.
Redshirt freshman defensive end A.J. Jefferson had a pick six off Williams after a pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage.
Williams fired a nice completion to freshman tight end Artimas Samuel across the middle.
Freshman defensive lineman Chris Jones broke up a Fitzgerald pass after chasing him on a bootleg.
Junior Christian Holmes practiced exclusively at linebacker after beginning the year as a tight end. He made the move back to defense prior to the Texas A&M game.
Field goal kicking looked awful.