Morrow Now the Old Man in the Room

The class of 2011 brought what was considered to be the year of the wide receiver to the state of Mississippi. With four scout national 300 members catching passes as prospects, the in state well seemed to be pretty deep. In the end, only Joe Morrow will graduate with his degree from the same school he signed with and the rising senior will be the only one to exhaust his college eligibility.

Morrow enters the 2015 campaign as the only senior wide receiver on the Mississippi State roster. While the Bulldogs have some NFL prospects in the junior groping, Morrow remains the elder statesmen.

"Being the only senior, it is an opportunity for me to show some leadership in the receiver group," Morrow said. "I am just trying to teach them and we're all really learning from each other. It's my last year, so I am trying to make the most of it. It's been a long time coming."

De'Runnya Wilson and Fred Ross both had breakout seasons for the Bulldogs a year ago. Morrow explains that the upperclassmen are all working hard to get the most out of each other.

"We all have a lot of respect for each other," Morrow explained. "I am the old guy now, so I have to lead by example. That's what I'm doing, but at the same time we're all helping each other get better. We all have times we can explain things to the whole group and make everybody better.

"We all have a lot of experience and we're willing to work. I believe this is the most talented group of receivers that I have been in with since I have been here. I think we can be as good as we want to be. We're practicing like we want to be the best group in the country."

The Bulldogs had quite an influx of talent at receiver with Malik Dear, Donald Gray and Deddrick Thomas all joining the program in January. Morrow reports that the spring reinforcements have all shown the capacity to get up to Bulldog speed.

"All of those guys are fast learners," Morrow said. "It's good for the team to have guys like them that can come in and learn the offense as fast as they did. Hopefully, they can come in and help us win some more games this year.

"In the meeting room, the young guys will just holler some answers out there. Coach G (Billy Gonazles) will kind of play with them and tell them that they have the wrong answer even when they have the right answer.

"He wants them to have some confidence in what they are learning and be sure that they know what they need to do. We're all learning and now it's time to get out there on the field and execute."

One of Morrow's greatest attributes is his ability to block on the perimeter. In an offense that depends on its' receivers to be involved in every play, being able to be physical is a big part of the requirements for playing time.

"It's all about heart," Morrow said of blocking. "It's not really about talent or ability. It's all about heart. It's showing how bad you want it and how bad you want to help your teammate and your team be successful. You have to be a man out there.

"When you make that big block and you see the running back come past you, it's just a great feeling. It makes you feel good about doing your job when you know your block made that play happen. It's easy to get excited about that."

Morrow reports that in addition to the new Bulldog wide outs, that he has been impressed with the young pass throwers that have joined the program over the last few years.

"Tiano is good. I like Nick," Morrow said. "He is a good runner and a good passer. He's learning the offense from watching Dak (Prescott), so he's learning. He's going to be a good one.

"Elijah (Staley) is a lefty and I had never caught a ball from a lefty before. He's coming along too. He has a lot of ability.

"Fitz (Nick Fitzgerald) really stepped up this spring. He stepped up big time. He's stepping up even more now that we're in summer ball. It's going to be fun to see what he can do once he gets into the games."

While those young guys will have to wait their turn, they are a group that is receiving some early accolades. The open competition of the spring will be to replace Dak Prescott who is the consensus All-SEC signal caller as the season begins.

Prescott is high on everyone's list, but the Bulldog team as a whole is not getting much in the way of pre-season hype. Morrow reports that those comments have done very little to discourage the Mississippi State football program.

"You just have to feed off of that," Morrow said. "People are doing to down us. People are going to talk and we are going to react to all of that in a positive way. We're going to be ready. They talked us down last year too and look what happened. We're blocking all of that out and getting ready to get on the field."

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