Final Arrivals Fill Out First Practice Roster

With practicing about to begin, Mississippi State has provided the first round of preseason rosters. Stress, the first, as changes are in store between Monday’s opening session and kickoff on September 5.

What Mississippi State fans wanted to read, or for most have confirmed, was the status of Coach Dan Mullen’s 2015 recruiting class. As things stand going into week-one, 19 true freshmen and one junior college signee from February will be dressed-out and drilling Monday.

There was a last-day surprising development when TE Farrod Green got in before camp began. He was one of three February recruits who signed with some degree of uncertainty about qualifying, but made the clearance deadline for pre-season.

Those who did not are ATH Dontea Jones, who all along was not expected to qualify in summer; and DL T.D. Moton who came right down to the wire. Barring late clearance both will have to wait a year or two before enrolling at State.

Along with Green, reporting rookies who were already around in July are, with their assigned #s: DB Jamal Peters 12, QB Nick Tiano 14, RB Nick Gibson 21, WR Keith Mixon 23, RB Alec Murphy 26, DB Chris Stamps 30, DB Maurice Smitherman 31, DB Mark McLaurin 41, DL Fletcher Adams 43, LB Leo Lewis 44, LB Tim Washington 50, OL Darry Williams 69, OL Harrison Moon 75, WR Justin Johnson 81, WR Jonnas Spivey 85, DL Anfernee Mullins 91, DL Kendall Jones 92, LB Keith Joseph Jr. 99.

And LB Traver Jung, the only juco signee who did not enroll for the spring semester, is 3.

There were six new Bulldogs involved in spring training, including jucos DL Jonathan Calvin, WR Donald Gray, and WR Martinas Rankin. Three true freshmen who passed on their spring at high school to get on MSU’s practice field immediately were WR Malik Dear, OL Michael Story, and WR Deddrick Thomas.

Three of these fall freshmen are wearing duplicate numbers with scholarship veterans as camp begins. Mixon shares his number with CB Taveze Calhoun; Murphy with S Kendrick Market; Adams with P/K Logan Cooke. As long as the numbers are shared by offensive and defensive Dogs that won’t present a problem. Except maybe for defensive lineman Adams, who presumably would not be able to play protection-team when Cooke is kicking.

It naturally was noticed Gibson is wearing the number ‘retired’ in 1997 when running back Keffer McGee drowned prior to the season. The number has not been officially off-limits for a few years now, but has yet to be worn in a Bulldog game. And there is no indication it will be activated this year so far, either.

Also, the start of a new year allows for some adjustments on the numbers front. Not many Bulldogs used the opportunity to make changes opened-up by either graduations, draft, or transfers. Though curiously both redshirt quarterbacks changed their digits.

Nick Fitzgerald goes from 17 to 7, and Elijah Staley from 14 to 2. Both are duplicates, in Fitzgerald’s case because CB Tolando Cleveland swapped his 31 for 7. CB Will Redmond already had 2 of course. And OT Ronald Cochran swapped his redshirt number 79 for 72 as he goes to varsity status too. Also, after wearing 75 for his spring as a new Dog, Rankin has already changed it, to 55.

For what it is worth, these are the numbers left available for use by any additions to the roster before school begins and 120 are involved: 25, 29, 52, 59, 63, 65, 66, 68, 74, 79, 80, 93.

Another aspect to the newest roster sure to be watched is the updated weights. Most were minimal, but there were a surprising number of double-digit gainers. They were: Lawrence Brown 34 lbs, Ron Cochran 26, Elgton Jenkins 19, Josiah Phillips 16, Winston Chapman 15, Jake Thomas 15, Michael Story 15, Deddrick Thomas 14, Gerri Green 13, Johnathan Calvin 13, Nelson Adams 10.

As for the ‘biggest losers’ on the scales: Deion Calhoun -22, De’Runnya Wilson -10, Aeris Williams -10.

The Media Relations Office gave Sunday night notice that changes and adjustments to the roster will be forthcoming through camp. Just as expected…

Mississippi State also issued a reminder that all practices are closed to the public.


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