It was a very chilly evening standing out to watch practice tonight so I hope all of you read this in the warmth of your homes or offices. Mississippi State concluded its third bowl practice Sunday night around 8 p.m. at 28-degrees. In fact, I had to let my fingers thaw out some before I was able to type these practice notes.
But here are a few notes I jotted down in my notebook during practice before my fingers went numb.
Freshman wide receiver De’Runnya Wilson was back at practice after missing Saturday.
Sophomore defensive tackle Quay Evans was again a no show at practice.
As he did Saturday, sophomore quarterback Dak Prescott participated in individual drills and pass skeleton but did not scrimmage.
Even head coach Dan Mullen got his arm loose in the chilly conditions throwing to receivers during a drill. Mullen is a former high school quarterback himself.
Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald certainly does not look like a guy who was going through just his second college practice. Fitzgerald keeps his cool and is poised in the pocket. He and Prescott were firing balls with a lot of zip in the cold conditions. On the final play of the scrimmage, Fitzgerald scrambled for a 40-yard gain before being forced out of bounds.
Junior wide receiver Jeremey Chappelle made a nice diving grab during pass skeleton.
Sophomore cornerback Taveze Calhoun had a pass break-up going against freshman Shelby Christy during pass skeleton.
Freshman wide receiver Gabe Myles made the catch of the day making a superb diving catch on an underthrown ball by Fitzgerald that was intended for redshirt freshman Brandon Holloway. Myles just adjusted his route and slid between two defenders to make the grab for a 40-yard reception.
Junior wide receiver Jameon Lewis made a nice adjustment on a pass from freshman Damian Williams. Lewis expected the pass to be on his inside shoulder but instead it was to the outside and he was able to make the adjustment with the ball in the air and come down with the catch.
Senior linebacker Deontae Skinner missed Saturday’s practice but he had a pretty good excuse. He was next door inside Humphrey Coliseum graduating. Skinner returned to work on Sunday but like most veterans, did not receive many reps.
Freshman B.J. Hammond made a good grab for a long gainer down the right sideline during pass skeleton. Hammond is working as a tight end after beginning the fall as a wide receiver.
Sophomore tight end Rufus Warren was not dressed out.
Sophomore defensive tackle Nick James has been the most impressive defensive player I have seen the last two practices. James has trimmed down and is able to play with a lot more endurance. He is flying around all over the field. At one point Sunday night, he chased Fitzgerald from the middle of the field and nearly cut him off along the sideline at the line of scrimmage.
Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jordan Washington sacked Fitzgerald during the scrimmage.
Redshirt freshman defensive end A.J. Jefferson had a tackle for loss.
Junior linebacker Christian Holmes lowered the boom on sophomore running back Derrick Milton, who was juggling a catch. Holmes later scooped and scored from 8-yards out on a fumble by sophomore running back James Baldwin.
Freshman linebacker Dezmond Harris had a great practice Sunday recovering a Fitzgerald fumble and also recording a tackle for loss later on.
Redshirt freshman safety Deontay Evans was credited with a pass break-up after being hit in the helmet with the football.
Redshirt freshman Fred Brown hauled in a 35-yard catch down the left sideline from Williams.
Senior cornerback Rishunn McCaleb laid the hardest lick of the day jarring the ball loose from freshman running back Josh Creekmore after a 20-yard gain down the right sideline.
Freshman running back Ashton Shumpert had several good runs on Sunday. Shumpert made some excellent cuts and showed great speed getting to the outside.
Freshman defensive end Trent Simpson had a tackle for loss.
Field goal kicking was horrible again.
As cold as it was, coaches Geoff Collins and Scott Sallach were in shorts. Director of football operations Jon Clark was not only wearing shorts but flip flops as well. As for me, I had three layers on top and two on the bottom along with double socks.