| Mississippi State looks
loaded on offense. Senior quarterback Wayne Madkin returns after becoming the
school's career passing leader as a junior. The Bulldogs led the SEC in rushing
and now add a group of accomplished receivers to the attack.
At tailback, Mississippi State returns senior Dicenzo Miller and junior Dontae Walker. The pair combined for 1,800 yards last year. The Bulldogs will look to sophomore flanker Justin Jenkins and redshirts Ray Ray Bivines, Antonio Hargro and McKinley Scott to catch the ball. Juniors Terrell Grindle, Brandon Butler and Darius Tubbs plus seniors Harold Lindsey and Clarence Parker round out the weapons at receiver. Tight end Donald Lee returns for his third season as a starter.
You can count on the Bulldogs to always roll out one of the SEC's biggest and most physical offensive lines. Guard Courtney Lee (6-4, 336), tackle Kenric Fairchild (6-4, 318) and center Tommy Watson (6-4, 303) lead a unit that averages 308 pounds.
The defense is another story. Just five starters return for defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dunn. The only returnee on the defensive line is 6-6, 310-pound tackle Dorsett Davis. "Dorsett has strength and endurance," says Sherrill. "Dorsett is a phenomenal player. He is always going to go to the ball no matter where it is on the field. Ask Mike Grant who the best player was out there during summer conditioning, and he would say Dorsett was. He's not your normal athlete." Read Article
Sherrill has brought in four JC All-Americans to fill the gaps.
The linebacking corps returns Mario Haggan and Connor Stephens. In the secondary, junior free safety Josh Morgan and senior safety Pig Prather were second and third respectively in tackles on the team. At cornerback, seniors Julius Griffith, Marco Minor and Anthony Bryant will look to replace Fred Smoot -- now in the NFL.
"All the guys coming in on defense will help," remarks Sherrill. "We hand-picked them, and now we have to put them in position to play for us. They have talent, and they've demonstrated that to us. The best guy is going to play. When you are building a program, you have to have competition at every position.
The schedule is tough. Mississippi State goes to The Swamp to play Florida at the end of September. Road trips to Auburn, Alabama and Arkansas won't be walks in the park. At home, the Bulldogs hosts BYU, South Carolina, LSU and the annual grudge match with Ole Miss.
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