Relf sets high goal for Dogs
MSU quarterback Chris Relf (14) throws during practice. (Kim Murrell/SDN)
Quarterback Chris Relf led the Mississippi State Bulldogs to a 52-14 Gator Bowl victory against the Michigan Wolverines and won the Most Valuable Player award in the process.
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Now, he's ready to bite off more.
As a fifth-year senior, Relf says the sky is the limit to what the Bulldogs can accomplish under coach Dan Mullen.
Relf has a goal of winning the national championship and doesn't consider it to be too far-fetched of an idea.
"I want to put Mississippi State on the map," Relf said. "I know with coach Mullen and coach (Les) Koenning helping me, we can do that.
"I think the sky is the limit and we're going to work hard. We're going to give all we've got. We're not going to quit."
With that thought in mind, Relf has committed himself to the work and grind that spring practice brings.
Mullen has noticed Relf assuming more of a leadership role in practice.
"He's been great and acting like an older guy," Mullen said. "He's trying to be a leader, He's continuing to improve his game of being a quarterback."
It's only been a little over two months since Relf and MSU completed its successful season, but he hasn't wasted any time in getting a jump on the next one.
Prior to spring practice beginning, Relf threw three times a week, worked with strength coach Matt Balis and tried to improve on his footwork.
He said it's important to set an example for the rest of the team.
"I've been here five years so I just try to come out and be hyped up every day," Relf said. "If my team sees that on offense, then they'll be hyped up."
The Bulldogs practiced outdoors on Thursday, dealing with temperatures that dipped into the 40s by the end and a wind chill that made it seem even cooler.
Mullen was pleased with the workout that included a scrimmage situation with the offense holding the slight upperhand.
"We got to see some guys make plays," Mullen said. "On day four, it starts to get a little bit sloppier and there's a lot of mental buildup right now. We're pleased to see the improvement from day to day."
There was a specific reason Mullen gave for why the offense was functioning well.
"The quarterbacks did a good job of managing," Mullen said. "They were checking the ball down and getting it out of their hands . That was the difference in the scrimmage.
"There were very few turnovers and minimal sacks. There were a lot of protection issues, but (quarterbacks did) a great job of getting the ball out, managing and being smart. That's what we need to do on offense."
MSU will work this morning before dismissing for spring break next week. After a week of meetings and workouts, practice resumes on March 24.
Mullen likes the progress made so far.
"We've got a little foundation and some work done," Mullen said. "We got some things installed and we'll let them go back, get a breather and get away for a little bit. We'll come back and review everything we've done the first couple of days before we practice again."