By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Mississippi State is still trying to sort out its offensive line, but John Hevesy is very happy with what he’s seen so far.
Halfway through August, Hevesy sees a level of maturity and execution from his group that should bode well for the season.
“Fundamentally we’ve progressed each day. I don’t think there’s been – knock on wood – a day that’s set us back, which you usually have,” Hevesy said Wednesday. “We’ve been upscale every day and getting better to me, each individual and as the whole group.”
There is plenty of experience and depth at other offensive positions, and MSU is looking to develop a deep rotation up front.
Hevesy said he could go eight or nine deep right now.
He likes the growth he’s seen from last year to this year.
“As young as a group as they are, they’ve actually matured and taken responsibility,” Hevesy said. “Relatively, three sophomores with the ones, their knowledge of the game is pretty good.”
One of those sophomores is Blaine Clausell, who couldn’t hold down the starting job at left tackle last season. He’s beefed up, and that’s helped.
“He’s learned through the offseason with Matt (Balis, strength coach), who did a terrific job with him of getting him to play in that weight,” Hevesy said.
Fences coming in
MSU is shortening the left-field fence at Dudy Noble Field, according to athletics director Scott Stricklin. He wrote in his weekly online column on Wednesday that the fence will be moved in 10 feet, which he said will provide more room for fans and the road behind the left field wall.
Dudy Noble currently measures 330 feet down the left field line and 376 to the left-center power alley. The other measurements: 326 to right, 374 to right-center, and 390 to dead center.
The first fall sports contest for MSU happens Friday, when the soccer team opens its 2012 season at home against Southeastern Louisiana (7 p.m.). Coach Neil Macdonald’s team is coming off a season in which it went 6-10-3, including a 3-7-1 mark in SEC play.