By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – LaDarius Perkins is the clear leader of Mississippi State’s running backs, which is a big responsibility. But when the ball is snapped, his burden isn’t all that heavy.
Perkins, a senior who rushed for 1,024 yards last season, will have plenty of help in the forms of sophomores Derrick Milton and Josh Robinson. The pair combined for 500 yards last season, and following Tuesday’s practice – MSU’s fifth of the spring – Perkins said both of them have shown clear improvement.
One bugaboo for Robinson last year was pass blocking, and Perkins said that’s gotten a lot better.
“He’s learned the playbook more now. With a year under his belt and a year on the field, too, he’s gotten a whole lot better,” Perkins said.
Milton hasn’t been fully healthy since signing with MSU in 2011, but he’s looked strong and confident this spring.
“Normally, people that have injuries, they tip-toe and stuff like that, but he’s getting a whole lot better at that,” Perkins said. “He’s hitting the hole, he’s running with authority, he’s running real hard.”
Eulls moves inside
Junior Kaleb Eulls has worked at both defensive end and defensive tackle, but he said it appears he’ll be making a full-time move inside. Eulls started the first three games of 2012 at tackle, then the next 10 at end.
With MSU having better depth on the outside this year, the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Eulls may prove more valuable on the interior, which lost a couple of starters.
“I feel great about it, because wherever they need me at, that’s where I’m going to work at it and try to do the best I can at that position,” said Eulls, who had 28 tackles and no sacks last season.
Receiver Jeremey Chappelle knows what’s expected of him. With MSU losing its top four ball-catchers from last year, the 6-3 junior college transfer will need to make an immediate impact this fall as part of the rotation.
“Recruiting a juco transfer, they want you to come in and immediately make plays,” Chappelle said. “So I’ve got to come in and make plays – that’s what’s expected of me.”
At Tyler (Texas) Junior College last season, Chappelle made 60 catches for 801 yards and 10 touchdowns. He enrolled at MSU in January, and he said it’s been important to be able to go through spring drills.
“I’ve gotten a whole lot better since the first day,” he said.
MSU’s next scheduled practice is Thursday.