Gabe Myles has done a bit of everything during his career at Mississippi State.
The hometown product of Starkville has caught and thrown passes, rushed the football, returned kickoffs and even played cornerback during his time with the Bulldogs.
Now beginning his junior season, Myles has settled into a new role as a starter at the z-receiver position.
“When I wasn’t a starter, I always felt pressure that I had to do this and felt pressure that I couldn’t mess up,” Myles said. “When you’re the starter, you’ve obviously gotten the trust of your coaches and now you can go out and play fast like you know you can. It’s a confidence booster and frees you up.”
So far this year, the 6-foot, 195-pounder has hauled in three balls for 45 yards. He did struggle with some drops during the previous game against South Carolina but finished strong with a 31-yard reception on the final drive.
“If you don’t have those rough days then what will your testimony be?,” Myles said. “It’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. You have to be able to face adversity. A lot of people have talked about redeeming myself but it’s really a mindset that I’m better than the way I played. I just have to trust in myself and stay confident. I’d made catches all that week and then had a couple of drops. It’s just all about concentration.”
For his career, Myles has racked up 488 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns – two receiving and one rushing. The former Starkville High School quarterback has also completed an 11-yard pass and is always a threat to run a trick play.
“The playbook is constantly evolving,” Myles said. “As of now, we don’t have anything but you never know. Honestly you never know with coach (Dan Mullen), he’ll pull something together quick.”
For now, the Bulldogs have settled on sophomore Nick Fitzgerald to throw most of the passes this season. After interchanging quarterbacks during the first game, Myles feels it simplifies things for the receivers with only one signal caller running the offense.
“You know exactly who to talk to,” Myles said. “It’s easier to be on the same page with the quarterbacks and not have to talk to multiple people. Communication-wise, it’s a whole lot easier.”
Myles actually began his career at MSU in the secondary as a cornerback. That’s the same position his father, Eddie, starred at for the Bulldogs from 1987-90 but the younger Myles was glad to get the call to switch sides to offense prior to the 2014 season.
“It was a good move because tackling was not for me,” Gabe Myles said. “I’d probably still be trying to figure out how to tackle.”
His father can often be seen in the stands – both and on the road – wearing Bulldog gear from head-to-toe in support of his son. Going to MSU games has been a family affair for the Myles family since before Gabe was born and him following in his father’s footsteps has only added more passion for their fandom.
“Growing up here and with my dad playing here, my family already knew what this was about,” Gabe Myles said. “They knew how important it was for me to play here and on this level. They know how much this means to me and to see me out there on the field and happy, it’s just been a good ride so far.”