Dan Mullen got some good news for the future of his offensive line.
Senior right guard Tobias Smith, who has dealt with various injuries in his career at Mississippi State, said he plans to petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility after this season, a move which would allow him to play under the same waiver senior tight end Marcus Green is using to suit up for the Bulldogs this season.
In other news for Smith, he said he feels better on his recovering knee every week and he likes the split in reps between himself, Gabe Jackson and Justin Malone at the guard spots, going so far as to comparing it the 2010 line when he, Jackson and now-Denver Bronco Quentin Saulsberry were the three rotating guards.
“We went 9-4 that year,” Smith said.
He also thinks Malone, a redshirt freshman, will be an All-American one day.
We talked to several other players tonight, including senior safety Corey Broomfield, who said he’s really starting to enjoy the new position.
Asked about the defense on Saturday when it seemed MSU knew exactly what Auburn was doing, Broomfield confirmed that was, indeed, the case.
“I was talking to [safety] Louis Watson,” Broomfield said. “His parents were calling their plays from the stands.”
The key to that, we hear, is senior linebacker Cam Lawrence, who made sure his team got the signal and knew what was coming every time the Auburn offense prepared to snap the ball.
“I’m sure I’m wrong sometimes,” Lawrence said. “But hopefully I’m right most of the time.”
Lawrence said Auburn’s players may have figured out he was the one who knew and that he was telling everyone else, but they couldn’t do anything to spot it.
“I like to get in people’s heads,” Lawrence said.
Will the All-SEC linebacker be able to pull it off every week? Probably not that well, he said, but Lawrence spends all his time when he’s not in class or on the field, in the film room. He’s constantly studying, always looking for cues and hints as to what will be coming.
It works, apparently.
On the other side of the ball, I caught up briefly with both receiver Jameon Lewis and quarterback Tyler Russell.
Each of them spoke about the improvements and focus of senior receiver Chad Bumphis throughout the offseason and into the 2012 campaign, saying he looks like a new man out there, pardon the cliche.
We’ll have more on Bumphis and his big start soon.