By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Spring is a time for teaching, and Tyler Russell has been a willing instructor.
Working in a steady drizzle on Thursday, Mississippi State wrapped up the heavy lifting of its installation process in the sixth practice of the spring. Players have been learning, reviewing, and learning some more, and coach Dan Mullen said Thursday was the “last big installation day” of spring.
“You can see some of the younger guys starting to hit the wall a little bit with figuring out what’s going on as you kind of put in new stuff but keep reviewing the old stuff and getting it all together,” Mullen said.
Russell, a fifth-year senior quarterback, has a big hand in the teaching process, especially when it comes to his receivers. MSU lost four seniors from that group, including all three starters.
“Last year I could just tell (Chad Bumphis), ‘OK, look, this is what I want you to do,’ and give him a signal, and he would know what I was thinking,” Russell said. “Now I’m trying to do that with these guys and trying to get them to understand, this is what I’m thinking, this is what we need to try to attack the defense by doing.”
Russell has been through the learning process and understands how to guide the younger players. If the offense breaks the huddle and someone doesn’t know his route, Russell sees it as his job to tell him.
“I’m comfortable doing that because I’ve done it for so many years now,” he said. “It’s natural to me to just be able to help those guys.”
The Bulldogs will put all this learning into practice on Saturday, when they hold their first full scrimmage of the spring.
The scrimmage is set for noon at Davis Wade Stadium.
The weather should be much better than it was Thursday, but the chilly, wet conditions didn’t dampen the energy level, with which Mullen has been pleased all spring.
“It was kind of fun,” linebacker Benardrick McKinney said. “We stayed juiced up, the whole team. We stayed into it.”