Friday practice notes

Dan Mullen held his first bowl practice on Friday. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Dan Mullen held his first bowl practice on Friday. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi State held its first bowl practice on Friday afternoon and like Dan Mullen has done in the past, most of the younger players received most of the reps with the veterans sitting out of a lot of team drills.

Here are a few notes I jotted down in my notebook while I was there.

Safeties coach Tony Hughes was at practice. His name has been linked to the head coaching vacancy at Jackson State.

Spending time in the injury pit today were junior offensive guard Devon Desper, freshman cornerback Chris Stamps and junior defensive tackle Nick James. Stamps was wearing a red jersey but I’m not sure why. Maybe one of the managers took redshirt literally.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Elijah Staley was not at practice. Staley was traveling to Kansas City for the basketball team’s game against Missouri-Kansas City on Saturday.

Senior quarterback Dak Prescott dressed out but did not do much other than some individual drills.

MSU practiced in only shells, t-shirts and shorts.

Junior tight end Gus Walley was at practice but did not dress. Learned after practice that he likely will not play in the both game due to concussions.

Senior defensive end Ryan Brown was also at practice but not dressed out. Brown was rolling around with his left leg on a scooter with his foot wrapped. Also found out afterwards that he had a screw inserted to correct a stress fracture and has been ruled out for the Belk Bowl.

Sophomore linebacker Dezmond Harris was at practice with a brace on his left knee. Harris did not appear to be walking with a limp that I noticed.

During pass skeleton drills, junior quarterback Damian Williams was intercepted by junior safety Deontay Evans.

Junior cornerback Cedric Jiles broke up a Williams pass.

Freshman quarterback Nick Tiano‘s first pass busted one of the plastic boards the managers were holding up at the line of scrimmage.

Redshirt freshman Nick Fitzgerald had a nice completion to senior tight end Darrion Hutcherson over the middle. A few plays later, Fitzgerald found freshman tight end Farrod Green on what appeared to be the same route.

Williams seems to have a wind-up delivery that I hadn’t noticed from him before. He may have had to change things up after his labrum injury. It does take him a long time to get rid of the football.

During the scrimmage, junior defensive end Johnathan Calvin batted a Fitzgerald pass at the line of scrimmage and nearly picked it off.

Jiles broke up a Fitzgerald pass but probably should have had an interception on the play.

Freshman defensive end Anfernee Mullins had a sack.

Freshman cornerback Maurice Smitherman broke up a Williams pass.

Sophomore cornerback Jamoral Graham intercepted Tiano.

Junior defensive end Will Coleman batted down a Tiano pass at the line of scrimmage.

There were a lot of bad shotgun snaps during the scrimmage from both junior Jamaal Clayborn and freshman Harrison Moon. Clayborn had two in a four play stretch.

Several players lined up in new positions from where I initially saw them during fall camp. Junior Jocquell Johnson spent time at right tackle, junior Martinas Rankin at left tackle, redshirt freshman Grant Harris at defensive tackle and Moon at center.

Freshman running back Nick Gibson looked good on an option run and later catching the ball out of the backfield.

Senior linebacker Zach Jackson was not at practice and later learned that he left the team to pursue an opportunity outside of football.

Sophomore offensive lineman Jake Thomas was not at practice. I asked Mullen about him a few weeks ago and he said that Thomas had a knee injury he was trying to battle back from. Thomas did not appear in any games this fall.

Depth Chart

First team offense

QB Nick Fitzgerald

RB Brandon Holloway

WR De’Runnya Wilson

WR Fred Ross

WR Fred Brown

TE Darrion Hutcherson

LT Rufus Warren

LG Justin Malone

C Jamaal Clayborn

RG Deion Calhoun

RT Justin Senior

First team defense

DE Johnathan Calvin

DT Chris Jones

DT Torrey Dale

DE Will Coleman

LB J.T. Gray

LB Gerri Green

LB DeAndre Ward

CB Cedric Jiles

CB Tolando Cleveland

S Kivon Coman

S Brandon Bryant

Second team offense

QB Damian Williams

RB Aeris Williams

WR Donald Gray

WR Gabe Myles

WR Joe Morrow

TE Justin Johnson

LT Martinas Rankin

LG Ronald Cochran

C Jocquell Johnson

RG Damien Robinson

RT Elgton Jenkins

Second team defense

DE Kendell Jones

DT Grant Harris

DT Fletcher Adams

DE Anfernee Mullins

LB Traver Jung

LB Leo Lewis

LB Tim Washington

CB Chris Rayford

CB Maurice Smitherman

S Jamal Peters

S Mark McLaurin

Third team offense

QB Nick Tiano

RB Alec Murphy

WR Deddrick Thomas

WR Malik Dear

WR Jesse Jackson

TE Aaron Hamaker

LT Devin Hadley

LG Michael Story

C Harrison Moon

RG Darryl Williams

RT Evans Wilkerson

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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