Just as I do during the regular season, here are my players of the week from Mississippi State’s spring game this past Saturday. The Maroon team edged their White counterparts 34-21 by scoring four of the scrimmage’s final five touchdowns.
Wide receiver Malik Dear
Sophomore * 5-9 * 220 * Jackson, Miss.
Rushing: one carry for one yard Receiving: six catches for 67 yards, one touchdown
Logan’s take: It’s hard to think of a true sophomore as a veteran but with the Bulldogs’ depleted receiver corps this spring that’s exactly what Dear was, having played in 11 games last fall. Dear was one of the go-to weapons for the four quarterbacks this spring and his six catches were twice as many as any other wideout on the maroon squad. He caught a 38-yard touchdown from Nick Tiano during the first quarter. I know there was some clamoring amongst the fan base to move Dear to running back, but with six scholarship backs already there it’s in the team’s best interest for him to remain put.
Defensive end Johnathan Calvin
Senior * 6-3 * 263 * Jackson, Miss.
Defense: eight tackles (five solo, three assists), four tackles for loss, four sacks
Logan’s take: Calvin terrorized the more experienced quarterback duo of Damian Williams and Nick Fitzgerald all game long. He finished with four sacks, which is only 1 ½ sacks shy of the school record had it been an actual game. One of Calvin’s sacks last Saturday came dangerously close to being called a safety but was ruled down inside the 1-yard line. Calvin was in a back-up role a year ago but could give MSU the pressure it needs off the edge in the fall. Coincidentally, Calvin and Dear are products of the same high school – Murrah.
Wide receiver Jonnas Spivey
Redshirt freshman * 6-0 * 182 * Bay Springs, Miss.
Receiving: three catches for 101 yards, one touchdown
Logan’s take: Spivey finished his spring in a strong way with nine catches for 204 yards and two touchdowns in the final two scrimmages. Those two scores came on receptions of 52 and 82 yards. Spivey could be just the deep threat the Bulldogs need with the early departures of De’Runnya Wilson and Fred Brown. His 82-yard touchdown grab from Damian Williams during the spring game was a thing of beauty. Spivey was one of three redshirt freshman receivers that shined for the White along with Deddrick Thomas and Keith Mixon.
Defensive end Will Coleman
Senior * 6-5 * 250 * Tyler, Texas
Defense: one solo tackle, one tackle for loss, one sack, one quarterback hurry, two pass breakups
Logan’s take: One tackle may not sound like much but Coleman got the best kind, a sack of Elijah Staley on the game’s third drive. Coleman also made an impact on the game’s first two drives as well by breaking up the first pass of the game and batting another into the air for A.J. Jefferson to intercept on the second possession. Coleman worked as the first team “viper” throughout spring, a new hybrid defensive end/ outside linebacker position brought in by defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon. If Saturday is any indication, Coleman fits the role perfectly.