Chris Stamps was one of 17 true freshmen that redshirted for Mississippi State last year.
While many of his fellow classmates continued to practice on the scout team throughout season, Stamps was forced to miss most of the fall after having labrum surgery during Week 1.
“It actually happened my 10th grade year of high school and I played three years with a bad shoulder,” Stamps said. “This past year I finally had a chance to sit out some time and get that right.”
The cornerback from Vicksburg was able to resume practicing on a limited basis during bowl prep and was fully cleared for contact this past spring. Stamps did not experience any pain in his surgically repaired shoulder and made six tackles and broke up a pass during the Bulldogs’ three scrimmages.
During the rehab process as a redshirt, Stamps learned plenty of new fitness tips that he will be able to take with him the remainder of his college career and beyond.
“It helped me a whole lot because my body last year wasn’t physically ready,” Stamps said. “I’m still trying to gain weight. But (redshirting) helped me out a whole lot because I learned how to take care of my body and the right things to do to become physically fit.”
Stamps picked up new techniques during the spring from the Bulldogs’ first-year cornerbacks coach and former Super Bowl champion Terrell Buckley and hopes to use those this fall as he prepares to make his collegiate debut.
“He coaches me tough,” Stamps said of Buckley. “I’m one of the bigger corners here and I think I remind him a lot of Shaq Wiggins and Xavier Rhodes, guys that he’s coached. I think that’s why I get coached a little bit harder and that’s only going to make me better.”
Stamps currently measures in at 6-foot, 175-pounds and hopes to add another 10-pounds to his frame to better prepare him for the physical toll his body will take covering receivers in the Southeastern Conference.
“It’s a lot faster and the receivers are a lot bigger,” Stamps said. “Guys here are just a lot tougher too. It’s tough guarding these SEC receivers.”
The former four-star prospect had little trouble covering receivers at Warren Central High School. Stamps picked off 13 passes during his prep career to go along with 112 tackles. He also starred on the offensive side of the ball where he caught 65 passes for 902 yards and eight touchdowns.
Stamps drew scholarship offers from Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, Southern Miss and Washington State but is proud of his choice to remain in his home state with the Bulldogs.
“I’ve been happy,” Stamps said. “I kind of wish I could’ve gotten on the field a lot quicker but either way I would’ve had to have surgery. Mississippi State is a great place and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.”