Receivers coach Tim Brewster on Chad Bumphis, Tyler Russell and young receivers

Typically, our weekly question and answer session here on the blog is with a player. But one of the best talkers in Mississippi State’s football program might just be a coach.

Wide receivers coach Tim Brewster, a former TV analyst and head coach, always provides good insight, and this week was no exception.

Chad Bumphis coming back and doing what he did against LSU, how important has he been and how important will he be the rest of the season?

I really challenged Chad to compete on Saturday night. Didn’t feel like had as good a game as we would’ve liked against Alabama. Really a challenge for him against those kind of players, the secondary LSU has. I think he took it a little personal. He took it as a challenge to go out and compete. He played as fine as game as he’s played at Mississippi State, just outstanding in all areas.

All year, he’s stepped up in most of the bigger games. What is it about him in those games?

I’ve spent a lot of time talking to Chad about consistency, consistently playing at a high level, playing to a standard that you as an individual set. It’s in practice. It carries into the game. And I’m really pleased with how Chad Bumphis has played this season. He’s become a more physical receiver, and that’s something where I really felt he could improve. He has to be a physical player, going and making the hard, tough catches, blocking better and better, just being a more complete receiver.

Doing that, did you point to guys like Chris Smith and Arceto Clark?

Again, it’s our whole group. We try to have a standard as a group that we’re gonna play at a very high level consistently, day in and day out. Those three seniors played an outstanding football game Saturday night down in Baton Rouge, they played extremely well.

We haven’t seen a ton from young guys like Jameon Lewis and Joe Morrow so far. What do you expect from them late in the season?

They’re very, very fortunate that they’ve got senior leadership. I’ve always said the best coaches are players. They’re not coaches, they’re players. Jameon is learning from a guy Chad Bumphis that really does a great job teaching him how to do things. Jameon is a very talented young guy, his time is gonna come, and what he’s gotta do is just be prepared right now. If Chad were to go down, he’s gotta step in and play. He’s really showed some good things.

Joe Morrow’s another guy who’s just, he needs to learn how to play the receiver position. He’s extremely raw, but he’s got talent and I’m really looking forward to coaching him in spring practice, to teach him the fundamentals of wide receiver play.

What’s the emergence of Robert Johnson meant to this bunch?

He really has, I’m really pleased with Robert Johnson. Rojo, he’s just blossomed. I think with ROjo it was a matter of confidence. It was a matter of him just feeling good about himself. As hard a working guy as I have at the receiver position. With the ball in his hands, if he doesn’t have the ball, he’s blocking somebody. He takes great pride in his work. I think that’s the thing that’s really helped him. He’s made some plays in the game. The other night, he slips on his break point, drops the football, but again, he bounces back and makes a big play after that. I think he’s got a very bright future.

You know, I recruited Rojo at Minnesota, and I offered him a scholarship. I really felt like he’s an extremely talented and gifted kid. The thing with all my guys is making them understand you’ve gotta be a student of the game. It’s another classroom. Those guys are buying into that, particularly Rojo, and it’s showing.

Watching Tyler Russell, he doesn’t seem to target one guy. He has confidence in everybody.

Tyler Russell is playing at an extremely high level. His confidence is very high and he believes in those receivers. He believes they’re gonna be where they’re supposed to be, which I so critical in the quarterback-receiver relationship of having trust that they’re gonna be where they’re supposed to be, and once they’re there, they’re gonna catch the ball.

It’s evolving. The passing game is a progress in work over the course of the season. Right now, I think there’s a really high level of confidence. Each day in practice, we build that trust. I’m just a really strong believer that it doesn’t happen in a game unless it happens in practice.

Does Russell look like an NFL quarterback to you?

I really believe Tyler Russell is gonna be an outstanding National Football League quarterback. He has all the qualities that you look for, he really does. I tell you what, we are so fortunate here, because I think Dak Prescott is an outstanding football player and talent. Every time he steps on the field, he just does something good. With those two guys, we are extremely fortunate. But Tyler Russell, I think his upside is through the roof. I think he’s gonna continue to grow as a player the more snaps he gets, the more live looks he gets. He can make all the throws. He’s more athletic than people give him credit for being. He looked pretty good on that quarterback sneak the other night. I really feel strongly about Tyler Russell and his ability to keep moving.

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