MSU Coach Greg Knox Interview, June 20th

Mississippi State Running Backs Coach Greg Knox talks one-on-one with Gene's Page.

What are your thoughts about the running backs position going into the season?
"The overall group is a very talented group, very deep group now that you have the two freshmen.

"The returners are Josh Robinson, Ashton Shumpert, Nick Griffin who is back to his old form, then you have Brandon Holloway. Then, you have the two freshmen, Aries Williams and Dontavian Lee.

"It's a deep, solid group. And you need that in this league because to be successful you are going to have to have a lot of running backs. They are going to get banged up some so you have to have depth at that position.

"It looks like Josh Robinson is the leader for the starting spot. But Nick Griffin had a great spring. Brandon Holloway is a guy who we will use in special situations. Ashton Shumpert was having a good spring until he was injured. We expect to have him healthy going into fall camp. I am really excited about the two freshmen and want to take a good look at them in fall camp. I want to see how talented they are and how quickly they pick up on things."

People have only seen Ashton Shumpert one season. What areas has he improved in since the season ended?
"Ashton has better vision now. He's learned the blocking schemes for all of the running plays, so he feels better about making his cuts. So, hopefully, he won't be the bulldozer type back this season and more of the guy who makes you miss."

Brandon Holloway is also relatively new at running back. Where do you see him fitting in the running back group?
"Holloway is more of a situational type guy. We want to get him out there in certain situations in the backfield. Anytime you can get him isolated on the linebacker, that is a mismatch for you."

What would have to happen for you to deem the season a success for your running backs?
"Great effort and protecting the football. You have to have great effort to protect the football. You can't turn the ball over. If you do, then you are going to lose games. If we can go through the season without turning the ball over, then it will probably be a successful season for us."

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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