Mullen Updates Injuries, Preps Bulldogs for Scrimmage

Dan Mullen</strong> was in good spirits after practice today, and he even gave us an injury report. So let’s begin with that bit of news.

There have been rumors of sophomore receiver Ricco Sanders having a knee injury, but Mullen said it’s nothing serious. The coach said Sanders “will be fine” and added, “He’ll play this year.” Sanders, who didn’t make a catch last year until the Gator Bowl, has impressed coaches this offseason and is expected to see a good bit of action this fall.

Mullen said freshman defensive back Taveze Calhoun could miss the season after undergoing shoulder surgery. Calhoun was spotted with his right arm in a sling at the last open practice MSU had, on Aug. 8. He’s a 6-foot-1, 180-pounder from Morton.

Back to Sanders, he apparently broadcast his injury on Twitter (he wisely has a protected account), but Mullen didn’t act too concerned about that disclosure.

“There’s a lot more things I’m concerned about than tweeting out if they get bumps and bruises at practice or they’re nicked up right there,” Mullen said. “I’m more concerned with the certain rap lyrics they put out there that might be portrayed that what they’re saying out of their own mouth sometimes that we don’t…” (He trailed off there.)

• MSU is preparing for its first full scrimmage of camp tomorrow night at Davis Wade Stadium. Mullen is going to try and simulate a game atmosphere as much as he can in the empty stadium.

“You’d like to try to simulate a game as much as possible, so this is it for us, like 70 plays probably with each group. Seventy with the ones, 70 with the twos, and whoever’s left standing get some reps with the threes.”

That’s in keeping with the recent theme at practice, where the first- and second-stringers are getting heavier reps. The season opener at Memphis is two weeks from today. Today’s work focused on game situations and fundamentals.

• An SEC officiating crew will work the scrimmage. Mullen isn’t sure who it is, but said with a smile, “I love our officiating. Big fan. Big fan. I’m sending them all flat-screen TVs after the season.”

• I asked Mullen if he felt more locked in to certain position battles, and he gave a Sylvester Croom-like answer: “Sure. Yeah. Not that I can tell you, but I feel more locked in. Come buy tickets, Sept. 1.” And he chuckled.

• Mullen was asked about walk-ons getting scholarships (MSU has a few to spare), and he said cornerback Marvin Bure, fullback Sylvester Hemphill and linebacker Brandon Wilson have been awarded scholarships, along with a couple of others he didn’t name.

“We always try to be at 85,” Mullen said. “In the past we’ve done all kinds of players. Those are three of the top of my head that we’ve done, but there will be more.”