Four days from kickoff, the focus for Mississippi State was on the offense. Receivers, running backs, quarterbacks, linemen. The works.
Dan Mullen and new receivers coach Tim Brewster both visited with reporters Tuesday evening, as well as a few of the players.
The focus for the actual team right now though, according to Mullen, is making sure the players fully transition from preseason to game week, getting the speed and mentality of competition down.
Brewster, on the other hand, is just trying to get in any kind of mode, though he said he’s getting better every day as he acclimates to MSU’s staff and system.
Saying that many coaches hone in on what the players don’t know, his focus is on what he doesn’t know, expressing his confidence that the receivers are well-versed in the offense, and they can teach him as much as he can teach them.
Brewster offered a few notes on his receivers.
He said redshirt freshman Joe Morrow is still a “little gimpy” from a bruised knee a week and a half ago, but thinks he’ll be fine.
“Joe morrow is an extrememly talented and gifted wide receiver,” Brewster said.
Morrow himself said he’ll be fine for Saturday and is excited to finally play.
The Ocean Springs, Miss., native also made sure to say he’s dedicating his game against Jackson State to his friends and family on the coast as Isaac arrives.
Additionally, Brewster expressed his pleasure with senior receiver Brandon Heavens, who has moved to the outside from the slot, though Brewster thinks he can play just about anywhere.
“He’s very nifty,” Brewster said.
Heavens is fast, too, and he said that’s what he’s excited to showcase on the outside. His hope is to get 1-on-1 coverage and burn guys deep. As Mullen said the other day, Heavens is one of if not the fastest receiver on the team.
The final note from Brewster is that he plans to coach from the sidelines for MSU, saying his fiery personality is bit much for the “cerebral” coaches’ box.
While Brewster talked about passing, Mullen got into the running backs, junior starter LaDarius Perkins, in particular.
He has a strong hold on the starting spot, though Mullen said Perkins hasn’t separated himself so much as he’s lifted the other running backs up, all of whom, Mullen says, he is comfortable putting on the field at any given time.
The head coach is also comfortable, apparently, with having Perkins pull some double-duty as both the No. 1 back and one of the starting kickoff returners. Mullen said his “dynamic” is plenty good shape and able to do both, even staying on the field between a kick return and the first play of a drive.
“It’s just like breaking a long run,” Mullen said. “He’ll be ready to go on the next play.”
Perkins, as you’d imagine, said he agrees.
The 5’10” running back said he weighs 194 pounds now, up nearly 25 pounds from the 170 he checked in at when arrived on campus.