By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Jeremey Chappelle exited the spring looking like someone ready to vie for a starting job.
The junior college transfer receiver has made improvement the last few practices, and he put on a show Saturday during Mississippi State’s annual Maroon-White spring game at Davis Wade Stadium. Chappelle made eight catches for 114 yards and a touchdown.
On the TD, he took a pass from Sam Cowart, shook off and then juked some defenders, and got a big block from tight end Malcolm Johnson to spring him for the final 20 yards.
With so much experience gone from last year’s receiving corps, Chappelle sees a chance to break into the first unit.
“I hope this spring game proves to a lot of people that I can play the game,” Chappelle said. “When I was coming in, my first couple of weeks I was having a pretty hard time just learning the plays. Once I got the tempo and once I got the plays under my belt, I knew I could do big things.”
After the game, coach Dan Mullen stressed the importance of the coming months before fall camp, and he said Chappelle is a player he believes “should take some big steps this summer.”
Cowart, a walk-on quarterback, probably won’t get many snaps this season. But with backup Dak Prescott limited by a toe injury, Cowart has gotten plenty of snaps this spring.
He had a strong Maroon-White game, completing 23 of 33 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns. Cowart understands his status in the big picture, but he’s glad to be working behind Prescott and starter Tyler Russell.
“I feel like I can develop better over the summer, and I’ve got Dak and Tyler ahead of me,” Cowart said. “Those are two great guys I can learn from.”
Things got a little silly in the second half when former MSU tailback Anthony Dixon asked to get in the game. Mullen obliged, allowing him to sneak onto the field to catch a 65-yard touchdown from Josh Hand.
Dixon, who now plays for the San Francisco 49ers, did a little dance in the end zone.