Bulldog Lineups For Opening Day Of Drills

By no means does who played where on the first day of spring practices a determination of, well, who will play where in the April 12 Maroon-White Game. Much less when Mississippi State kicks it off for real at the end of August. But practice depth charts, unofficial though they be, are still entertaining reading.

So here is how the Bulldog offense and defense aligned itself for the first practice session of 2014. There aren't a lot of major moves, certainly among returning starters. For that matter who has stepped into positions vacated by graduation held few first-day surprises.

The ‘news' of the day was the return of two Dogs who'd been expected to pass on their senior seasons. Christian Holmes has opted to return, a popular decision since ‘Turtle' was a real ‘energy' guy on the squad last season. He returns as a linebacker, too, his original college position after playing around last year as a tight end for a while.

More interesting is the return of linebacker Ferlando Bohanna, who'd been announced by the head coach last October as giving up the game to protect his health after a series of concussions. Bohanna was back yesterday, and at an outside ‘backer position instead of middle. But as Coach Dan Mullen said after practice this is a closely-watched situation and whether Bohanna takes contact is yet to be decided. The Bulldogs don't put on pads until Friday.

The defensive tackle chart needs some explaining. Two first-teamers did not practice Tuesday, as both Kaleb Eulls and P.J. Jones were held out and spent their day in the rehab area. Jones was also wearing the same protective boot he sported during practices all last fall after an August injury. It didn't keep him from playing very well of course and Jones doesn't need as much spring work as younger tackles. Nor does Eulls, who moved to tackle last spring and thrived.

On the other side of the line, right guard Justin Malone reported to practice about 45 minutes after it started. He'd been in the training room as recovery from the opening-day foot injury continues. Malone did participate in a few limited drills, but also lined-up on the placekick group at the very end of practice.

So Ben Beckwith stayed at the right guard job he started 12 games last year after Malone's injury; with true soph Jamaal Clayborn the first-team left guard where Gabe Jackson operated for four years. There was some switching around on the offensive line at times, with Devon Desper—originally recruited at center—working mostly at right guard but taking some left guard snaps as well.

Maybe the most notable move was of big tight end Rufus Warren to offensive line, which as Coach Mullen said Tuesday allowed the big fellow to let his appetite loose all spring. And junior college line signee Jocquell Johnson made his practice debut as a guard, not a tackle as he'd been projected.

All of which means…not a lot. Because as spring continues the line will keep testing and trying combinations of guards, tackles, and centers. As they say, stay tuned.

Mississippi State has a 4:00 Wednesday practice, then returns for a Friday afternoon (time adjusting for the baseball game) and Saturday morning session planned.

LEFT TACKLE: Blaine Clausell, Justin Senior, Cole Carter

LEFT GUARD: Jamaal Clayborn, Kent Flowers, Jocquell Johnson

CENTER: Dillon Day, Archie Muniz, Maroon #68

RIGHT GUARD: Ben Beckwith, Devon Desper, Rodney Lacy

RIGHT TACKLE: Damien Robinson, Jake Thomas, Rufus Warren

TIGHT END: Artimas Samuel, B.J. Hammond, Lawrence Brown

SLOT TIGHT END: Malcolm Johnson, Brandon Hill, Gus Walley

WIDE RECEIVER: De'Runnya Wilson, Fred Brown, Joe Morrow

SLOT RECEIVER: Jameon Lewis, Jeremy Chappelle, Gabe Myles

WIDE RECEIVER: Robert Johnson, Fred Ross, Javous Nicks

QUARTERBACK: Dak Prescott, Damian Williams, Nick Fitzgerald, Josiah Phillips

RUNNING BACK: Josh Robinson, Nick Griffin, Ashton Shumpert, Brandon Holloway

RIGHT END: Preston Smith, Torrey Dale, White #90

RIGHT TACKLE: Chris Jones, Curtis Virges, Jordan Washington

LEFT TACKLE: Nelson Adams, Nick James, Trent Simpson

LEFT END: Ryan Brown, A.J. Jefferson, John Harris

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER: Matthew Wells, Zach Jackson, Quadry Antoine

MIDDLE LINEBACKER: Benardrick McKinney, Richie Brown, Christian Holmes

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER: Beniquez Brown, Ferlando Bohanna, Dezmond Harris

SAFETY: Kendrick Market, Deontay Evans, Jacob Wiley

SAFETY: Justin Cox, Kivon Coman, Jay Hughes, Brandon Wells, Kareem Vance

RIGHT CORNERBACK: Jamerson Love, Will Redmond, Jahmere Irvin-Sills, Broderick Oliver, Brandon Davis

LEFT CORNERBACK: Taveze Calhoun, Cedric Jiles, Tolando Cleveland, White #35

PUNT RETURN: Jameson Lewis, Will Redmond, Cedrick Jiles, Gabe Myles

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