STARKVILLE – Although Mississippi State has already been practicing for over a week, coach Dan Mullen just now considers training camp underway.
The Bulldogs checked into the team hotel on Friday following the conclusion of exams to concentrate solely on football until school starts back on Aug. 18.
“To me, (Friday) is the first day of camp,” Mullen said. “We get to move into the hotel and get a whole different mindset of things. A lot of the install is already in and now they really get to spend a full week of all ball all the time.”
MSU practiced once at “the farm” on Friday and will hold two-a-day practices today before taking Sunday off.
“(Friday) was probably our hottest day so far so it was a good work day,” Mullen said. “When you have days like that it becomes a little more emphasis on the mental toughness part of practice. I thought for the most part our guys learned and battled through. We still have to pick it up when you face the adversity of the heat.”
Defensive tackle Chris Jones is taking training camp a lot more serious as a sophomore.
The Houston native is trying to top a strong rookie campaign that saw him earn Freshman All-American and Preseason second team All-SEC recognition.
“I’m more on a serious note now,” Jones said. “Last year was just a learning year for me. My expectations are so much higher than last year because I didn’t expect to play as much as I did. I’ve got to be so serious about everything now. I can’t just have fun and play, I’ve got to be serious and critical of my mistakes.”
Jones appeared in all 13 games last year and made three starts. He accumulated 32 tackles including three sacks and was tied for the team lead with seven stops for loss.
The 6-foot-5, 308-pounder is currently listed behind senior and Tupelo native P.J. Jones on the preseason depth chart.
Christy tears ACL
Mississippi State suffered its first casualty of the fall as wide receiver Shelby Christy was lost for the season.
Mullen confirmed Friday that the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder tore the ACL in his right knee and will not play this fall.
“He just planted on his foot and the knee just kind of gave way so he’s going to be out for the season,” Mullen said.
Christy redshirted his initial season in Starkville in 2013 after signing as a three-star prospect. He caught 39 passes for 663 yards and five touchdowns during his senior season at Dutchtown (La.) High School.