MSU OC Les Koenning Talks Wide Receivers

Mississippi State offensive coordinator Les Koenning sat down with Gene's Page and talked about each of the positions on the offensive side of the ball. Today, in part-2, he talks about the wide receivers.

Wide Receivers

You've got a good group of wide receivers, some veterans and a few young guys, in your two-deep depth chart. Everybody knows about Chad Bumphis and Brandon Heavens after watching them play for a couple of seasons. But there are some other guys that aren't as well known such as Arceto Clark, Michael Carr, Chris Smith and Ricco Sanders.
"Arceto (Clark) is a transfer from defense to offense. He's done a really good job for us and has been very consistent. Michael (Carr) came in as a true freshman last year and did a really nice job for us. Chad (Bumphis) and Brandon (Heavens) both did a nice job at the inside slot for us. Chris (Smith) and Ricco (Sanders) have held down one of the outside receiver positions for us.

"You are seeing a lot of those kids grow. We had to play some of them early such as Ricco and Chris. This is not saying anything bad about them but at other programs that I have been around those two might have not gotten on the field as true freshmen. But here they had the opportunity to and took care of it. Now, we want to see them grow. We want them to take that next step.

"Chris has endured some injuries over the spring. He got his jaw broken. That has hurt him (on the field). But, hopefully, he will get ready to play. If he doesn't, we will feel very comfortable with Ricco because he's done a really good job for us, too. I've been very pleased with his progress during the last two years. Ricco was a young kid who came in late because he qualified late for us."

People saw a little of what Michael Carr could do last year. But he's a big, physical guy who appears to have pretty good speed as well. Can he be that guy who can stretch the field for you?
"I think he can do that. He stepped on the field as a freshman and did a good job for us. But he's so dynamic that he can also be a guy who can stretch the field for us. And he's also a guy who could be detrimental on special teams. He's big and physical enough to do that for you. Now, we are waiting to see him take that next step."

That's pretty much your two-deep depth chart. But you've got a few other young guys who redshirted last year, Robert Johnson, Malcolm Johnson and Jameon Lewis. How did they progress during the spring?
"They stepped up for us last spring. Robert did some good things for us in the spring but he needs to do some things to continue to get better. He's just having to learn what to do. In the spring game he made a really good catch. It was a good throw by Dylan but it was a really good catch by him. Talent is not an issue with him.

"Malcolm has really done some nice things. We moved him in to play a hybrid-tight end position. Be ready to watch him (this season) because he could be very dynamic for us. We redshirted him but at one time we thought he would be the freshman who plays for us. But he hurt his ankle. Due to that, we couldn't get him on the field.

"It's exciting to see Jameon catch the ball. He can help us at punt returner as well as at receiver. Jameon is really talented but he's having to learn the part about what to do.

"That's three more kids at the receiver positions. All three were redshirted last year. Now, with them, we have really tremendous depth (at wide receiver)."

Coming Tuesday Part-3 - Tight Ends.

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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