Braxton Hoyett hoped to make an impact right away when he arrived at Mississippi State in 2014.
But the choice was made to redshirt Hoyett that season and it was not until this past fall that he was able to suit up for the Bulldogs at defensive tackle.
“When you first get here you get kind of down about redshirting,” Hoyett said. “But I took that year and learned from the older guys. Now that I’m finally out there it’s a blessing to be out there on the field playing. I love it and have been very happy here.”
The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder saw action in seven games as a redshirt freshman making four tackles including a half tackle for loss during the Troy game.
“It feels good to be out there,” Hoyett said. “I love going out there with my teammates and actually playing on the field. Last year I sat on the bench because I was redshirting. But that was actually a good year to develop and felt I got better every day.”
Hoyett is currently spending the offseason preparing himself for spring practice so he can have an even bigger role on David Turner‘s defensive line in the fall.
“I’m trying to get a sack and get in the backfield and make a play,” Hoyett said. “That’s going to come. It’s just about me going out at practice throughout the week and then showing it in the game.”
Hoyett had a track record of making huge plays during his high school career at Pelham (Ala.) High School. The former three-star prospect made 174 tackles, 24 for loss and 13 sacks during his final two seasons, earning second team All-State and played in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic as a senior.
Hoyett, however, found the competition level much more challenging when he arrived in college two years ago.
“It’s a lot different because here you’re playing against grown men,” Hoyett said. “It’s going to be a competition every day. You’re not going to just go out there and be the best player on the field. You have to go hard every play and be consistent with your work.”