Walley Emerging As Top Bulldog Tight End

Mississippi State tight end Gus Walley scored his first collegiate touchdown last season against UAB. Walley had spent most of his life dreaming of that moment. As a young Bulldog fans, the Greene County native had aspirations of wearing the Maroon and White during his college career. Now on campus and completely healthy, Walley is running with the first team offense.

Gus Walley profile

"I think I am adjusting pretty good," Walley said with a grin. "In the off season, I think I called Malcolm (Johnson) everyday. I had a lot of questions about how I do this or how I do that. I just needed his leadership. I had get some examples from him, but I feel like I am doing pretty good with everything now."

In last Saturday's scrimmage, the first offensive snap resulted in a swing pass out to Walley who turned it up field for close to first down yardage. While autumn Saturday grabs count most of all, it is clear that Walley is gaining confidence and those are him are now capable of putting their trust in him.

"Coach Mullen always talks about doing your job," Walley said. "When the ball comes to me, then I just have to do my job. In the scrimmage, the ball came straight to me and I just had to do what I am supposed to do and that's make plays."

As a high school senior, Walley was slowed with injuries. Once on campus in Starkville, Walley again was bitten by the injury bug and forced to miss important practice reps during his redshirt year. Now in prime condition, Walley is eager to show what he can do with the football.

"I learned to never give up through all of that," Walley said. "I feel amazing now. This is the best that I have ever felt. It's a long process to get back where you were. In high school, as soon as I got back healthy, I was playing. Here it was different. I had to wait and I had to learn. That is one of the main things Malcolm taught me.

"Dak (Prescott) is my roommate and he was always telling me that I just had to wait for my turn. He told me to just take it all day by day and step by step to get back and get better everyday."

Walley credits his relationship with Prescott for part of his maturation process as a player. The pair are able to compare notes once the practice day is over.

"We'll go home and talk about everything," Walley said. "We watch a lot of film together and I will ask him what he wants to do when certain things happen. We talk a lot about what to do when he is scrambling and things like that. We talk about all of that and watch the film to keep us on the same page."

While everyday is a work day, there are some days when Walley can reflect on the reality that his dream of becoming a Bulldog came true.

"In some ways, I am sort of getting back to how it was when I played high school ball," Walley said. "It's time to play ball now. You can't worry about messing up stuff or thinking too much. It's just time to go play ball. Sometimes I can step back and just sort of take it all in, but everyday I am out here, I am just trying to get better every day and help this team."

One of the components of his game where Walley believes he has made his greatest strides is as a blocker. Mainly a pass catcher on the prep level, Walley is a lot more well rounded these days.

"I feel like I am a lot better with my hand on the ground," Walley explained. "I was a wide out in high school, so I never really had to hit anybody. Now I feel like I've got some grit to me. I can man up and through my head in there on every play."

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