Young Bulldogs putting lessons into practice

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – The teaching continues, but Mississippi State found some time for application on Friday.
The Bulldogs held their fourth practice of the spring, mixing installation work with some game-like situations: 11-on-11, red zone and goal line. Head coach Dan Mullen wasn’t surprised to see older players making most of the big plays.
“The younger guys are still trying to figure it out – for a lot of them this is their first time doing it,” Mullen said. “Even through next week there’s a lot of learning, and then you really want to see guys who grasp what we’re trying to do.”
Tailbacks LaDarius Perkins and Josh Robinson were among the more experienced players who were productive Friday. Some younger guys had good moments, too, like when redshirt freshman linebacker Richie Brown intercepted Tyler Russell in the end zone.
“For a lot of these guys, … we put a lot in and a lot on them and see what sticks,” Mullen said.
One group navigating that step learning curve is the cornerbacks. MSU lost three very good ones from last season, including Jim Thorpe Award winner Johnthan Banks.
And the corners have a new coach, former NFL standout Deshea Townsend. He liked the competitive spirit shown Friday and is trying to keep his players focused on “laying the foundation of what we want to get to.”
He’s also emphasizing technique and repetition.
“Technique, muscle memory – it’s the same thing over and over again,” Townsend said.
MSU returns to practice Tuesday, for what Mullen called “another big installation” day.
brad.locke@journalinc.com