By Logan Lowery
MEMPHIS – After having to practice inside a gymnasium for its initial bowl work due to a lighting issue, Mississippi State found Crain Field on the campus of Rhodes College to be quite spacious Friday afternoon.
The Bulldogs concluded their second day of prep to face Rice in the Liberty Bowl on New Year’s Eve. MSU is going through its six days in Memphis prior to the game as it would a normal game week.
“We started our scouting report and instillation today,” said MSU coach Dan Mullen. “We just treated it as if game week starts today like our normal Tuesday of game week.”
Prior to practice, several of the Bulldog coaches and players visited St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital where Mullen and his wife Megan made a $10,000 donation through the Mullen Family Foundation.
“It was pretty special and a humbling experience for us,” Mullen said. “You talk about fighters, hopefully they taught our kids a little bit about toughness today with what they and their families are going through. To be able to put a smile on a young child’s face that is going through that is really special.”
The visit also left a lasting impression on junior safety Kendrick Market of Batesville.
“The St. Jude trip was awesome,” Market said. “It was good to give back to the kids who’ve got cancer. My mom works with kids like that, so I’ve been around that all my life and I try to give back to them whenever I can. That was my first time at St. Jude and it put a smile on my face just like it did them.”
A welcome party was also held for State on Friday evening at AutoZone Park, home of the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate Memphis RedBirds.
Medical redshirt for Arrington?
The Bulldogs will seek a medical redshirt for junior safety Dee Arrington for this past season.
A neck injury has limited the Wiggins native to just three games in 2013. Arrington appeared in the Oklahoma State and LSU outings and made a start against Alcorn State.
“He’s still not cleared to play in a game for us,” Mullen said. “He hasn’t redshirted since he’s been here so we’re going to try and get a medical redshirt for him. Our trainer said he’s getting better and he’s able to do drills and stuff like that but he’s still not able to play in a game.”
Arrington notched 10 tackles, one tackle for loss, one pass breakup and forced a fumble during limited action.
Evans left behind
Mullen confirmed Friday that sophomore defensive tackle Quay Evans was not among the players who traveled to Memphis.
The highly-touted high school recruit appeared in only five games this season and has not played since Oct. 12 against Bowling Green.