MSU Football Players Finish Summer Workouts

The Mississippi State football team concluded their summer workouts with a final day of conditioning testing Monday evening.

After months of working out under the hot summer sun, the Bulldog football team had a chance to see what they were made of in a conditioning test that included 16 half-gassers. For those of you who don't know what a half-gasser is, you line up on one side of the football field and run to the other side, touch the line with your foot, then run all the way back to where you started.

Because of their difference in sizes, the team was divided into three groups - 1) DBs, HBs and WRs; 2) LBs, TEs, QBs, FBs, KSs, and 3) OL and DL. The first group had to make their half-gassers in 16 seconds. The second group had 18 seconds, while the third group had to make theirs in 20 seconds. There was a resting time of 45 seconds in between each half-gasser.

While there were many players that were impressive, the ones that were consistently leading the first group included senior walk-on DB Marcus Evans, senior walk-on RB Derek Ambrose, freshman DB Jarvis Kyles and senior RB Jerious Norwood.

Among the second group, the leaders of the pack were freshman QB Tray Rutland, redshirt freshman QB Michael Henig, sophomore TE Jason Husband, walk-on Justin Williams (not sure of his position or classification), junior walk-on fullback Casey Rogers, redshirt freshman LB Fred Akines, junior PK Keith Andrews, redshirt freshman PK/P Adam Carlson and redshirt freshman TE Jeremy Jones.

The third group's leaders were freshman DE Quinton Wesley, junior DT Avery Hannibal, senior OC Chris McNeil, junior DT Deljuan Robinson, junior DL Stephen Arant, and freshman DE Charles Burns.

If I had to pick the most consistent player from each group, I would pick DB Marcus Evans from group 1, TE Jason Husband from group 2 and DE Quinton Wesley from group 3. For the most part, all three were at the front of the line.

A few players that showed vocal leadership during the test were Chris McNeil, Quinton Wesley, Deljuan Robinson and Dio Herrera.

The guys that struggled the most were, as you would expect, the freshmen. Offensive linemen Craig Jenkins, Chris Spencer, Michael Gates and Johnny Carpenter all struggled, as did wide receiver Tay Bowser. But, to their credit, they never gave up and finished all of their half-gassers. Carpenter and Spencer started out strong, but fatigue began to take its toll about halfway in the test.

One other freshman, OL Calvin Wilson, wasn't able to participate in the testing, but did watch from the sidelines.

According to MSU head strength coach Jim Nowell, the main purpose of this so-called test was to see who was in practice shape. If a player made all or most of his times, then he is in good enough shape to be able to practice well.

A good sign that the players are in good shape is the fact that I didn't see a single player throw up. However, one did mention, as he was laying flat on his back after his test was over, that he probably shouldn't have eaten at Oby's at 4 p.m.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by email at

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