Gene Swindoll

Hutcherson Readies for Senior Year

Mississippi State has some talent at the tight end position despite the loss of departed senior Malcolm Johnson. Senior Darrion Hutcherson is preparing for his final college season and is in the mix for some serious playing time this fall.

Darrion Hutcherson was a big target for the Bulldog recruiters both figuratively and literally when he completed his career at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. The former Auburn signee played more of a supporting role in his first year in Starkville, but this season "Hutch" is looking to make a splash.

"I am definitely more prepared than I was last year," Hutcherson said. "When I came out last year, I didn't really know what all was going on with the offense. Now I feel like it's a lot easier, because I know exactly what I am supposed to do now. I know what's going on and where the ball is going."

The Bulldogs have been known to use an attached tight end as well as a tight end that flexes out in the slot to create some mismatches. Hutcherson believes he is capable of handling both responsibilities if called upon.

"I am a just trying to be a hybrid that can do anything," Hutcherson said. "I want to be a real red zone threat, but I also want to be an every down tight end. I am just trying to do all of the things that Coach (Scott) Sallach teaches us to do and be the best tight end I can be.

"I feel like when my number is called that I am going to be ready. I just want to go in and do the job for the team."

Hutcherson reports that the tight end depth chart is filled with a versatile mix of talented veterans and some athletic newcomers.

"We have some great tight ends," Hutcherson said. "Gus Walley can line up attached and he can block good.

"Justin Johnson is real physical and just has that raw talent. He is going to be really good.

"Farrod Green came in late and he's still learnig. His routes have been looking really good."

Hutcherson has a solid relationship with Green who he has known for a few years now.

"Farrod is like my little brother," Hutcherson said. "I was at Co-Lin for two years and his dad coached me. He was just always around. He came to my dorm and he found out I was going to Mississippi State. That was his dream school, so it brought us closer. We had already bonded before then, but with both of us headed to Mississippi State we had a good bond. If he needs anything, I got him.

"I am just trying to help him go in a positive direction. I want to help all of these young guys and just try to be a positive role model for them on and off the field."

The Bulldog offense has been record setting in the past three seasons. Hutcherson expects that trend to continue this fall as Heisman candidate Dak Prescott returns to call the cadence for the Bulldogs.

"I have a lot of confidence in the offense," Hutcherson said. "It doesn't matter if you talk about the quarterbacks, running backs, receivers or tight ends, I have confidence in everybody. I think we can do some great things if everybody communicates and everything. If we are all on the same page, we can do some great things.

"Dak is an even better quarterback this year. Coach Mullen says that you don't know the offense until you can teach it. Dak can do that and I feel real comfortable with him back there. He sees things out there and he passes it down to the younger players. He is teaching the young guys to be better players. To have a quarterback like him, just makes us better as a team."

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