Chris Relf Gets It

A fifth-year senior, Mississippi State quarterback Chris Relf is completely comfortable not only with the Dan Mullen offense but he's also comfortable with being a leader.

"Basically, I know everything (about the offense)," said Relf. "I think (MSU head) Coach (Dan) Mullen feels like I have a very good grasp of the offense. All that comes from him and (quarterbacks) Coach (Les) Koenning teaching me the offense and me willing to listen and learn. (Then), it's just a matter of me going out there and executing plays."

Which he did in a big way during Saturday's scrimmage, throwing and running for four touchdowns.

While his comfort level with the Mullen offensive system is just about 100%, he's had to learn to be a leader. And he's also comfortable with that as well.

"Coach Mullen and (strength) Coach (Matt) Balis told us that we need leadership, so being vocal is my way of showing leadership," said Relf. "I'm very comfortable with being a leader. I've been here five years so I have no choice but to come out here and be a leader and be vocal. Coach Koenning said the guys are going to follow what I do, so he tells me to come out here and get them pumped up. And that's what I try to do."

Getting to this point in his career has been a long process, one that Relf thinks about quite a bit.

"I reflect on it all the time," said Relf. "When I first got here I felt like I could pass because in high school that's all I did. I never had any doubt in my mind that I could pass the ball. It was just a matter of me learning the offense. And adjusting to how everything was so fast my freshman year. I just needed time to develop."

Part of that development included waiting his turn while learning from the quarterbacks ahead of him.

"(My development) really started my freshman year when Tyson (Lee) was here," said Relf. "I tried to learn from Tyson and the other quarterback and get better watching them."

And all that learning and developing finally came to fruition last year.

"I think I finally got it last year," said Relf. "I knew the system. It was (applying it) on the field. I'm the type guy if I get on the field and get in the game I can see things a lot better."

He gives a lot of credit for getting it to two particular coaches on the Mississippi State coaching staff.

"I think Coach Mullen is one of the best quarterback coaches in the SEC, and I think Coach Koenning is a great coach, too," said Relf. "It's helped me a lot because I have learned so much from them."

But learning about football is not a chore to Relf. In fact, he wouldn't have it any other way.

"I think about football all the time," said Relf. "At night, I can't even sleep because I'm thinking about football. Football and school is it for me."

Mississippi State's next practice is Tuesday afternoon.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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