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Bulldogs put on pads for first time

March 28, 2012

MSU quarterback Dak Prescott throws a pass during practice. (Photo by Michael Wardlaw, SDN)

Football coaches will quickly tell anyone who will listen that you simply can’t tell anything until they put on the pads.

On Tuesday, that’s exactly what the Bulldogs did for first time this spring.

“I hope they liked it,” said Mullen. “I didn’t see anybody that didn’t like it. If you don’t like it, then this isn’t the sport for you. But it looks like they are going to put their face on you, run around and hit people. The guys are practicing with energy and that’s one of the thing we want.”

Admittedly, it is early in spring football for Mississippi State but everyone is healthy, except for the flu bug that has been going through the locker room and the known injuries to Tobias Smith and Nickoe Whitley.

As for the actual football, Mullen is ready to watch film.

“We’ve just got to evaluate who is improving and who is getting ready to play,” Mullen said. “You can teach off those moments when so many guys get out here and play.”

The Bulldogs will be back on the practice field on Thursday afternoon in the neighborhood of 4:30 p.m. All practices are open to the public so feel free to come take in the spring football action.

Balanced reps

Entering spring camp Mullen was focused on keeping the reps balanced between Tyler Russell and Dak Prescott, the top two quarterbacks entering the spring.

So far Mullen feels they’ve been able to do that, but admits that up until this point nothing has been too stressful for the quarterbacks.

Veterans taking over

Each year coaches like to have the luxury of having a group of veteran guys who can lead a program.

In 2012, that’s exactly how the Bulldogs feel as they rely on guys like Russell and Josh Boyd to show the newcomers the Bulldog way.

“I let our older guys take the lead and the younger guys are really trying to follow that lead,” said Mullen. “We need the older guys to keep the energy, keep the tempo, so we can keep the effort up at practice.”

Autry getting comfortable

Former East Mississippi Community College player Denico Autry is stepping into spring football at Mississippi State and beginning to learn his way around a Bulldog practice.

The junior defensive end was quick to point out that he was a little behind but working extremely hard to catch up.

“He is a guy we’ve got to get ready to play,” said Mullen. “He’s a good athlete, a really good athlete. Once he knows the scheme and gets down his fundamentals and not just play on raw athletic ability, I think he’ll have the opportunity to see real significant improvement.”

On Tuesday afternoon, the defensive standout spent time working at both right and left end slots for Coach (Chris) Wilson’s defensive front.

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