The Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex is the new home for Mississippi State football. (Photos by Jason Edwards, SDN)
It has been a long time coming, but the Mississippi State football team has a new home.
The Bulldogs officially moved into the Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex right behind the Palmeiro Center last week.Â
The complex features coaches' offices, weight room, locker room, meeting rooms and training rooms.
MSU head coach Dan Mullen held an end of the season press conference in the complex Friday and he is real excited about the direction of the program.
"There's a lot to be excited about," Mullen said. "We have 90,000 square feet of improvement in our football program stepping into this new year to start things off with. I know I'm fired up about it. Coming in, it's almost like coming to a new job. (It's) coming to a new job where you know all the players, know all the coaches, know how it's set up, know what your expectations are and fan base knows who you are."
The MSU administration has also started expansion on Davis Wade Stadium. The expansion is set to be finished before the 2014 football season.Â
The amount of resources going into the football program is something Mullen is happy about.
"One thing it shows is the commitment the university has with the football program, our commitment to excellence and our commitment to them as players to give them the absolute best," Mullen said. "(When) they come here to Mississippi State, they are getting the best. They are going to have the best facilities, the best coaching, best on-the-field treatment, the best strength coach and the best academic staff. (With) all of those things, they see our commitment to excellence as we move forward."
to be at MSU
In almost every offseason of Mullen's time at MSU, his name has been brought in connection with job openings.
It was no different this time as his name was connected to the Colorado opening.
Just like every offseason before, Mullen has denied wanting to go anywhere and he hasn't.
"The one that I can control (is) I'm not going anywhere," Mullen said. "I love it here. That is the only one that I have direct control over. I have got two kids that are local. They are Mississippians."
staff in place
The Bulldogs lost two assistant coaches over the last few weeks.
Cornerbacks coach Melvin Smith left to take a similar position at Auburn and defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Chris Wilson departed for Georgia.
Mullen promoted co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Geoff Collins to defensive coordinator.
It was announced this week that Kentucky and former MSU assistant coach David Turner was hired to coach the defensive line. Also former South Panola and Alabama standout Deshea Townsend was hired as the cornerbacks coach.
Couple of JUCOÂ
transfers on campus
MSU junior college signees Justin Cox and Jeremy Chappelle have enrolled in classes for the spring.
Cox, a defensive back from East Mississippi Community College, and Chappelle, a wide receiver, are the first two signees of the 2013 class to enroll in school.
Both are expected to get a good amount of playing time due to the several departures by wide receivers and defensive backs.
"They're here to play," Mullen said. "When you go out and recruit junior colleges for the most part, we don't do it for depth. We bring guys in to play."
Bulldogs pick up
commit from WR
The Bulldogs got another commitment from a wide receiver on Friday.
Memphis native Donald Gray called wide receivers coach Tim Brewster and let him know of his decision.
"I decided (Friday)," Gray told Bulldawgs 247. "I got on the phone with coach (Brewster) and I just felt like that was the place to be at."
As a senior, Gray had 20 touchdowns. He scored seven in his final high school game.Â
Gray will take his official visit on Feb. 1.
will not return
The Bulldogs will have two less on the roster when spring practice rolls around.
Freshman Xavier Grindle and walk-on freshman quarterback Jamil Golden decided not to return to the football team.
Grindle played his high school football at East Marion and was ready to return home.
"That certainly didn't come as a shock for me," Mullen said. "I give him a lot of credit. He wanted to pack it in a couple of times during training camp. He just wanted to go home."
The Bulldogs are trying to help Golden get into a junior college. Offensive coordinator Les Koenning was handling Golden's future.
to come back
Former MSU wide receiver Michael Carr quit the football team last spring.
As of this spring, he is looking to return to the Bulldog squad.
"He's come to meet with me about it," Mullen said of the West Point native. "Michael, obviously, left under some tough issues. It wasn't an issue in what he'd done wrong within the program, and it wasn't an issue in his dislike of the program, it was just some personal things he had to get figured out in his life. We've opened the door for him. If he gets those things figured out, to take care of certain business and make sure he's on the personal right track, (he may) come and play for us in the future."
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