By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – If Walter White were mixing up a batch of, um, football, then the regular season would be called, I don’t know, “Blue Sky.” These next four weeks, he’ll settle for using “pseudo” in his recipe.
If you’re not a fan of “Breaking Bad,” and science teacher-gone-bad Walter White, then I’m sorry – because for starters, you’re missing out on some fine serial television. And secondly, you have no idea what I’m trying to say.
So I’ll say it this way: Spring football is but a faint imitation of the regular season, but it comes from the same addictive strain, so we will all embrace it like junkies in need of a fix. It’s not the most quality stuff, but it’ll hold us over for a while.
Mississippi State opens spring practices on Thursday, and many of you will be out there right alongside me watching the Bulldogs put in work. It won’t be terribly exciting, and truthfully, there won’t be a ton we can learn.
But I suppose we can learn a little, and in that spirit I will enable your addiction by pointing out four things to watch this spring. There are more than four things worth watching, of course, but I only have about 250 words left to work with.
• Quarterback Tyler Russell threw four interceptions last time he played a game, in MSU’s Gator Bowl loss to Northwestern. With Dak Prescott out injured this spring, this theoretically means even more reps for Russell, a rising senior.
The spring is a good time for him to finally put last season to bed, and frankly, I think he’ll be fine.
• Geoff Collins was promoted to defensive coordinator this offseason, and he’s already making his mark by using the term “defensive mayhem.” He even wears a rubber bracelet with those words on them.
If he can back up his talk, then Collins will be fielding a more aggressive, disruptive defense than MSU has had the last couple of years. We should see at least a glimpse of that this spring.
• Billy Gonzales has taken over as wide receivers coach, and he inherits a group that lost four seniors, including touchdown machine Chad Bumphis. Now is the time for guys like Robert Johnson, Jameon Lewis and Joe Morrow to prove they can be counted upon on a regular basis.
• While senior LaDarius Perkins is the returning starter at tailback, coaches love what they have in sophomores Josh Robinson and Derrick Milton, both of whom contributed last season. MSU will be very deep here in the fall, and this will be a fun group to watch in the spring.
Brad Locke (firstname.lastname@example.org) covers Mississippi State for the Daily Journal and blogs daily at DJournal.com.