A Q&A With MSU WRs Coach Billy Gonzales

Mississippi State wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales talks about the wide receivers position.

What is your overall impression of the wide receivers position going into the season?
"I think we have a long way to go to get (to where we want to be). The maturity level is coming along. They have a lot of years in the program but not a lot of playing time, not a lot of snaps. Because of that, it was important for them to have a good spring. And I think, for the most part, they did. They grasped the system but they have to continue to learn. They have to continue to develop this summer. This summer is going to be critical for the entire group."

Talent-wise, what are your thoughts about them?
"I think they are strong to the ball. They are a bigger group. What I mean by that is they are a thick, strong group."

Talk about each player individually.
"RoJo (Robert Johnson) has good enough speed to get vertically down the field on you but he is also a stronger kid. He is thick and plays physical. I hope he is a guy that we can create mis-matches on one side of the football field just because of his size.

"He had a good spring but has to continue to get better so we can put him in man-to-man situations and he can win those battles. I am excited about his work ethic.

"Shifting to the inside. Jameon's (Lewis) stock went up for me because he made big plays. He's got to be consistent so he can continue to build on what he did during the spring. He's got great quickness and great footwork. He just needs to become more consistent.

"Joe (Morrow) had a great off-season. When I say great off-season I'm referring to his winter workouts. He has shown that he can turn and get in and out of breaks and compete with anyone on the team when it comes to agility drills. What we need to do is see that continue onto the football field. Once he develops confident in what he is doing and plays fast he should be able to create one-on-one matchups. All of that will come in practice and repetition.

"Jeremy Chappelle had an impression spring. He has a great work ethic and a great desire to be good. He also has the physical tools. He's a big guy with big hands. He not only had a good spring but in a highly competitive big-game situation - the spring game - he came out and shined a little bit.

"Brandon Holloway is kind of a hy-brid player. That is something that Coach Mullen is used to in his offense wherever he has been. He's always had a shifty guy who you can bring out of the backfield or start as a wide receiver and motion him into the backfield. That is where we used Brandon a lot during the spring. He had a great spring game playing in the backfield. What he has to do is continue to develop his receiving skills. Brandon has great speed. There are a lot guys who have great vertical speed, track guys, but how do they transition on the football field. I think Brandon is one of those guys but (unlike them) he can put his foot in the ground and get north to south. He is still a very young man but I am extremely excited about the big-play ability that he flashed in the spring game.

"Fred Brown is a young man who made consistent strides in the spring. He just has to continue to get stronger. The stronger he gets, the better he will become. He has good quickness and a very fluid way of running routes. He is very loose in the hips and is not a mechanical runner. He has great leaping ability. Again, he has to become more consistent. He made some big plays in the spring but he also left some plays on the field.

"Those are six guys that I'm expecting to come out and make plays for us during the season."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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