Despite late slide, Bulldogs upbeat preparing for Gator Bowl

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – Mississippi State doesn’t look like a team that’s had a rough time of it lately.
The Bulldogs (8-4) will enter their Jan. 1 Gator matchup with No. 21 Northwestern (9-3) having lost four of their last five games. But they’re not down about it, and that was apparent at Friday’s practice.
There were plenty of jokes and smiles on the sidelines, lots of highlight plays and hits on the field.
“Whatever happened in the past, our record tells us what happened, but it’s a one-game season,” cornerback Corey Broomfield said. “All we can control is what’s in front of us. What happened in the past, we can’t do nothing about it.”
Redshirt freshman tailback Josh Robinson had an especially good day, showing his quick-cut ability while eating up yards. During red zone drills, he scored on a 12-yard run and then handed the ball to a nearby reporter.
Robinson has been getting a lot of reps, just as he did last year during bowl prep.
“From last year at bowl practice it was tough, but to this year’s bowl practice I’m learning the offense better,” he said. “I’ve got a great coach that taught me to see things before it happens. That’s the key to a great running back.”
Hevesy will help Jackson
Junior offensive guard Gabe Jackson is looking into the NFL Draft, having filed paperwork in order to receive feedback on his draft stock. Offensive line coach John Hevesy will be right there to guide Jackson, who was a second-team All-SEC selection this season.
Hevesy was an assistant at Utah when quarterback Alex Smith left a year early and was taken first overall.
“If the paper comes back and says he’s a bona fide first-rounder, go,” Hevesy said. “You can’t pass up that money.”
Jackson is not currently projected as a first-round pick.
Banks honored again
The All-American honors keep rolling in for Johnthan Banks.
On Friday, the Football Writers Association of America and Phil Steele both named the senior cornerback a first-team All-American. Banks has already been named a first-team All-American by Lindy’s and Walter Camp, and several outlets list him as second team.
Earlier this month, Banks won the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the nation’s top defensive back.
brad.locke@journalinc.com