This time of year, it seems as if all sportswriters are writing stories about silly preseason projections or rankings, attempts at comparing teams or players to characters from TV shows or all kinds of other poor attempts at humor. This is not one of those stories. This is very, very serious journalism about the hairs growing out of football players’ faces. Such an endeavor became clearly necessary when, at SEC Media Days last week, none of the players could agree whose facial hair was best.
In fact, this isn’t even a story. This is science, breaking down and reviewing the facial hair of each Mississippi State football player who has any, using the new headshots recently posted on HailState.com. In science, of course, we categorize and associate our discoveries in easily identifiable groups, so we will do the same here, assigning each beard to either the high, middle or low phylum.
And again, with science in mind, we recognize that each beard is a variable. Therefore, we need a constant, a perfectly hairless football player face. See below for an example, then scroll at your leisure to view the rest of the facial hair findings.
Westin Graves: Constant
Nelson Adams: Nice of his barber to cut a breathing hole for him in the middle of the woodland creature he sewed onto his face.
Richie Brown: Led the Union forces in their victory at Shiloh, once tackled 13 people in a game, probably has some super hairy toes.
A.J. Jefferson: Has a Mohawk growing out of his face, is just as stylish when viewed upside down, likely has supernatural talents.
Cedric Jiles: Wears No. 5, has five o’clock shadow, gets five out of 10.
Jamoral Graham: Well-manicured variety of thickness and length that all somehow connects like an M. C. Escher painting.
Kivon Coman: Respect for having a neckbeard in a completely-literal, only-on-the-neck way.
Keith Mixon: 90 percent chance he hasn’t touched his facial hair in six months. That’s just where it is.
Alec Murphy: Got that beard at the Ralph Lauren outlet.
Aeris Williams: Happiest headshot I’ve ever seen. Even the beard is smiling. Ten out of 10.
Ashton Shumpert: Like cuff links or a pocket square, this beard is just an accessory to the main show.
Fletcher Adams: Raw talent with high upside. Potential first-round beard after another year in the program.
Lawrence Brown: Has matching BFF necklaces with every cool person you know.
Devon Desper: Trimmed exclusively for this picture, has multiple ounces of beef in mustache at any given moment.
Michael Story: Stick to the fairway. The rough is really hairy on this course when you get off the cheeks.
Rodney Lacy: I have nothing but good things to say.
Harrison Moon: Remember when the black stuff from a curse was growing down Dumbledore’s arm? Your face is under slow attack by your neck, is what I’m saying.
Johnathan Calvin: His face doesn’t realize it’s sitting in a neck-hair slingshot and is about to be rocketed away from its shoulders.
Elijah Staley: Had to move my laptop screen just to get the right lighting to see some of it.
Traver Jung: You might want to get on craigslist missed connections, where there is a clump of chin hair trying to reach a mustache.
Gerri Green: The under-chin is under-rated.
Fred Ross: Doesn’t matter. No one is looking at the hair on the bottom of his head anyway.
Damian Williams: Dragonball Z called. That’s all I got.
Jamal Peters: I am so distracted by everything and have a sudden craving for broccoli.
Nick Tiano: Kelly Kapowski called, wants to know if you’re still taking her to the Homecoming dance.
Deddrick Thomas: “You’re fine, son. Bruise ought to heal in 7-10 days.”
Nick Gibson: “And it seems to me you’ve lived your life/ like a candle in the wind/ never knowing who to cling to.”
Malik Dear: Here is a man who really knows how to accentuate a jaw.
Chris Rayford: I call that chin look Moses Parting The Red Sea.
Lashard Durr: The hourglass of goatees. Individual hairs slowly trickle down form the mustache and collect on the chin.
DeAndre Ward: Disappears completely when he buckles his chinstrap.
C.J. Morgan: “I want to be itchy, but I want to be happy about it.”
Gabe Myles: I remember my first shave, too.
Mark McLaurin: Understated and always appropriate. The little black dress of facial hair.
Leo Lewis: Points for creativity and staying on theme. Shaped like a goalpost.
J.T. Gray: I never did see Joe Dirt 2.
Dezmond Harris: Like the bottom of a strawberry.
Torrey Dale: BE BRAVE USE YOUR POTENTIAL
Hunter Bradley: BASIC
Will Coleman: Never colors inside the lines. Oh and Coolio called.
Justin Senior: Uses a straight razor once a month, has never cut himself.
Jocquell Johnson: Low-cut top, really accentuates the chin.
Evans Wilkerson: Like a watercolor beard painting. Oddly wispy.
Dontea Jones: Excellent for when needing to appear pensive.
Jesse Jackson: Not entirely sure some of that isn’t just beard-colored skin.
Nick James: Upside-down angry troll doll.
Grant Harris: Would’ve liked to see a matching blonde patch on the side of his chin.
Anfernee Mullins: Acorn.