Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Redshirt freshman wide out Deddrick Thomas is in the mix for a place at the table with the Bulldog first team offense.

Mississippi State's most productive wide outs so far this season are Fred Ross and Donald Gray. While that pair of talented upperclassmen have proven to be a petty explosive duo, the Bulldogs are looking for a third option to emerge with the first team offense. This past weekend, reshman Deddrick Thomas had a pair of big catches and 23 important yards in the road win at Gillette Stadium over UMASS, 47-35.

The two grabs for Deddrick Thomas were his third and fourth receptions of the year and first since the season opener against South Alabama. Thomas is working hard to ensure more opportunities for himself and more big plays for the Bulldogs.

"On Saturday, we had a player who wasn't hot that game, so I had to step up," Thomas said. "I am just trying to fill in and do my part, me and Malik (Dear) both. Right now, I just need to keep working and getting better. Maybe as things go on, I may get in a better spot and have a chance to help the team more."

Bulldog wide receivers' Coach Billy Gonzales has some options for the third spot in the starting rotation. Gabe Myles has earned some starts, but true sophomore Dear and frosh Thomas are also eager for more opportunities. While there is a competition for practice reps and game snaps, Thomas reports that everyone is competing to help the Mississippi State team win games.

"It's never anything personal, It's business and everybody knows it," Thomas said. "Everybody came here to play college football and be that guy or be one of those guys who does big things and make big plays. Nobody came here to be average, so we're all pushing each other to be better.

"Everybody wants to have the chance to keep playing and maybe one day play in the NFL. Being able to be a starter in college is part of the process. It's never anything personal for any of us. I have to grind to get mine and I know everybody else is doing the same thing to get on the field more."

The Bulldogs will have the chance to spend some down time this weekend as they enjoy an open date. Some State players will elect to stay in Starkville and relax, while others will make the trip home to enjoy some high school football as well as put their feet under mama's table for a home cooked meal.

"I am going home," Thomas said. "I am going to text my coach and let him know that I am coming to the game on Friday. I am going just go home, chill, relax and watch some college football. I have some classwork stuff I want to do. 

"We don't get to watch many college games, because we're playing. Sometimes we get the highlights, but it's cool to be able to watch a full game. I can't wait to watch Louisville against Clemson this weekend. There are some pretty good games this weekend, so it will be nice to get a break and watch some of that."

While Thomas will be away from Starkville, his mind will still be on the Bulldogs' next task at hand, the Auburn Tigers. The install for the Tigers will ramp up next week, but Thomas plans to watch some game film of Auburn over the course of the weekend. 

Thomas is expecting a a serious battle when the Bulldogs host the Tigers. He also believes that the Bulldogs are trending in the right direction.

"Playing in the SEC, you have to go ahead and prepare for the next big time team," Thomas said. "It's never too early to prepare. We are already working on it now.

"Our confidence is high right now. We got a better feel with Fitz (Nick Fitzgerald) now. Our defense is playing good, but on offense we have to back them up. We can let them be on the field all of the time. We have to give them a break, so that they can play even better defense. 

"I feel like the team is good this week. In practice, we're rolling pretty good right now."

The Bulldogs will hit the road home Friday assuming Coach Dan Mullen gets a good academic report before week's end. The Mississippi State coaches will be on the road evaluating prospects this weekend as the fall evaluation process is in full swing.

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