Coaches talk fall camp with practice starting today


With Mississippi State beginning fall camp later today, it’s the perfect time to hear from the Bulldog coaches. We’ve done endless speculating the last seven months on our own, and finally, we’re going to get to see it in action.

MSU media relations extraordinaire Kyle Niblett caught up with defensive backs coach Melvin Smith, linebackers coach Geoff Collins and running backs coach Greg Knox, three of the more competitive spots on the team.

Check out the video above for the entire interviews, about six minutes total, but I’ve got a couple highlights here.

Smith said everyone knows Johnthan Banks and Corey Broomfield, but he’ll have his eyes elsewhere.

“I really want everybody, including myself, to look for Darius Slay, Taveze Calhoun and Jamerson Love. They have really caught my eye.”

Smith went on to describe how impressively Slay, a senior cornerback, finished the spring. Just like me, Smith is expecting big things from him.

Collins had a few interesting nuggets of his own, including his statement of hope that true freshmen linebackers Richie Brown and Beniquez Brown “will find a way into the two-deep.” That would certainly be an impressive task for the pair, but there is definitely a bit of hype around the two, particularly Richie.

Collins also spent a good chunk of his time praising junior linebacker Deontae Skinner, who we wrote about back in June as one of the rising stars on the team.

“Deontae Skinner is one of the most physically impressive players on the team … He was a man among boys [at the end of 2011].”

I’d have to agree.

Finally, Knox said what many of us have implied: his running backs are good. Very good. He spoke like someone hoping junior LaDarius Perkins will win the job, but he is certainly open to whoever grabs the spot.

“We’re hoping LaDarius Perkins takes that next step … He’s really shown flashes of being the guy.”

We’ll have more here on the blog tonight after we visit with Dan Mullen following the first practice of the fall, as well as in the coming weeks while we chat with players.

I’ll be out there Saturday for the practices MSU has opened to the media and public, and if you’re in the area, you ought to come by, too. The split-squad practices will be at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the practice fields behind the tennis courts and softball field. (Say hey to Vann Stuedeman on your way in.)

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