MSU notebook: Tight end Green out for season

The 2010 season is over for junior tight end Marcus Green.
Mississippi State’s starting tight end to begin the year has a slight tear in the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee and partial sprain of the medial collateral ligament.
Green had received his MRI exam the weekend after the Auburn game and told the media days later he would be “good to go” after seeing the medical scan. The second-year head coach’s comments continued to get less and less positive as the weeks went by and his tight end had received no playing action.
“He’s tried the last couple of weeks,” Mullen said. “We tried to get some swelling out of his knee and see if he could play with a brace but (the medical staff) just didn’t think it would be stable enough.”
Green will have the surgery to repair the knee ligament Thursday and Mullen said the rehab timetable has him more than likely being fully healthy for spring practices.
The junior tight end caught 27 passes for 306 yards and three touchdowns last year and was one of the most highly-recruited prospects in Mississippi three years ago out of Kemper County High in Scooba.
Despite Green redshirting his first year on the Starkville campus, he would be able to apply for a medical redshirt year but that process doesn’t occur according to NCAA rules until the student-athlete’s eligibility has expired.
Green’s backup Brandon Henderson missed his second straight game with a severely sprained left knee.
Henderson met with reporters at the Bryan Building the Monday before the Georgia game using this popular refrain with the media who would ask about his health.
“My knee is fine,” Henderson said.
Mullen said this past Sunday Henderson was the only injury coming out of the LSU loss that needed to be evaluated by the MSU medical staff before announcing his status for Henderson.
The senior wouldn’t comment on whether he’d received an MRI scan this past weekend or what was on the medical report given to the Bulldogs coaching staff or when the injury actually occurred against LSU.
Mullen has made it publicly clear in his weekly media conferences that he is hopeful Henderson will play against Houston on Saturday night (7 p.m., CBS College Sports Network).
“Brandon was fully cleared to play by our medical staff but didn’t feel comfortable playing at something less than 100 percent,” Mullen said. “I don’t know if we can ask our training staff to do anything more and hopefully Brandon will play this weekend.”
Perkins named SEC Freshman of the Week
Nearing the halfway mark is when a first-year player usually puts it all together at the college level.
That logic would explain the conference honor for Mississippi State redshirt freshman tailback LaDarius Perkins.
“They’re more comfortable on game day,” Mullen said. “That’s usually the evolution of players work. As you keep going through the year, those guys really get into a routine.”
For the second week in a row, a Mississippi State football player earned a weekly award from the Southeastern Conference. After Derek Sherrod was named offensive lineman of the week following the Bulldogs’ victory over Georgia, Perkins was named freshman of the week by the Southeastern Conference office today.
“We’re getting some production at the running back position and that’s what we’re looking at,” Mullen said. “
Perkins rushed a career-high 10 times for 48 yards and his first career touchdown in Mississippi State’s 49-16 win over Alcorn State on Saturday. Some of those rushes came from the newly instituted Wildcat offense where the 5-foot-10, 190-pound back would take direct snaps from center for the first time this season.
“He did some good things there,” Mullen said. “Whatever we can do to get the ball in our playmakers hands as best as possible, we’re going to do that.”
Perkins scampered for a 30-yard gain in the fourth quarter before to set up his two-yard touchdown two plays later. The Greenville native was MSU's third-and-long specialist throughout the first four weeks of the season but was handed far more of the carries load in Saturday’s 49-16 victory over Alcorn State.
This type of production can hopefully erase the awful memories of the Georgia game when Perkins’ first ever career pass, and what Mullen says was his only play call of that game, didn’t exactly go as planned.
“The only negative I can say about LaDarius is the way he throws the ball," Mississippi State offensive coordinator Les Koenning said with a laugh. "I felt sorry for the kid, he worked all week on that. When he went out there, he got in a little bit of a rush and it just didn't happen exactly right."
Perkins, who decommitted from Auburn to sign with State two years ago, was listed as one of the top 25 prospects in the state of Mississippi after averaging 13.8 yards per carry his senior season at St. Joseph’s High School. His big-play capability was what attracted him to the newly formed State coaching staff in 2009.
State to play Mississippi Valley State in 2013
Mississippi Valley State has agreed to be the Bulldogs opponent in the season-opener for the 2013 campaign.
The game, which will take place on August 31, would mark the fourth matchup between State and a school from the Southwestern Athletic Conference as MSU has already agreed to play Jackson State in 2013.
MVSU is currently suffering through an 0-5 start to their current season and have lost 11 of their last 12 games dating back to the middle of the 2009 season. The school’s athletic department has been going through the same down period off the field with issues ranging from not offering the full 63 scholarships the FCS allows  and playing home games at a high school stadium.
Mississippi State’s four non-conference opponents for the 2013 slate now includes home games against Troy and Bowling Green with a road game at Alabama-Birmingham.