By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Marcus Green is healthy again. How healthy? Well, he’s a little coy about it.
“I’m healthy,” he said with a big grin. “That’s all I can say, I’m healthy.”
Mississippi State could really use a healthy Green, the senior tight end who missed most of his redshirt freshman and junior seasons with injuries. He played in just two games last year and had to shut it down after knee surgery in early October.
His one healthy season, in 2009, Green showed what he can do. He caught 27 passes for 306 yards and three TDs.
At 6-foot-1, 240 pounds, Green adds a unique element to Dan Mullen’s spread offense, causing mismatches against most front-seven defenders.
Even with a well-developed receiving corps and strong backfield, the Bulldogs need Green to remain healthy.
He is visibly excited about returning to the field this fall, but he’s never really been down about his circumstances. Green said his teammates kept his spirits up when he was recovering from the latest setback.
“To be honest, most people would think it would’ve been hard, but just having a great team, great leadership on the team, encouraging you: ‘Marcus, we need you. Get healthy, get stronger. We’re praying for you.’ That’s meant a lot. It made me stick around the team.”
Green is backed up by a couple of redshirt freshman, Brandon Hill and Malcolm Johnson, who fit the same mold as Green. All three can be split out wide and get yards downfield.
Last season, with Green out, MSU had to play bigger tight ends like Kendric Cook and Brandon Henderson, neither of which was a threat in the passing game.
So there will be a wrinkle to the offense this year that wasn’t present last year. How will it look?
“I don’t know, we’ll have to see,” Green said with another grin. “Can’t give no clues.”
Green said he isn’t worried about achieving 2009 numbers, just with being healthy and staying that way. And how healthy again, Marcus? A hundred percent?
“Well, because it’s still training camp, I feel like I ain’t 100 yet. Game day I’ll be 100.”