"Blake McAdams, Jarvis Kyles and Aubrey Bell bring something different to the table," said the second year defensive coordinator. "I've been very impressed with Kyles' ability to pick things up. He seems to have good range for pass coverage. Bell, although we haven't put on pads, is a big, physical, strong guy. And he has also picked it up well. Blake seems to have a great knowledge of coverages because he has been a quarterback. I think they all have a chance to compete a little bit, but they are very far behind my veteran backup guys."
When asked to talk a little more about Kyles, you could tell that Johnson has been pleased with that he has seen so far. But the Bulldog coaches were always high on Jarvis, although most coaches were more interested in his twin brother, Nick Kyles.
"The twin brother was a more productive player as a wide receiver and got most of the attention, but we liked them both," Johnson said. "We would have loved to have gotten them both, but Alabama got a commitment from his brother and he stayed with it. Jarvis liked it here and we were tickled to death to get him."
"I didn't know he wasn't that highly recruited, but, as you know, we don't always put a lot of stock in that. I think he has a chance to be a real good player, but, at this stage, I don't know if he will be ready to roll this fall. But, I'm very pleased with where he is right now."
While he's been very impressed with his three freshmen, he has been even more impressed with his veterans, including his two starters and one backup in particular.
"Of the group as a whole, (starters) (junior Jeramie) Johnson and (sophomore Mario) Bobo have picked up where they left off in the spring," said Johnson. "Right now, the one who seems to have improved more than any other is (redshirt freshman) De'Mon Glanton. I'm very optimistic that he is going to give us some help on the depth chart. (Senior) Marcus Evans missed a day Thursday, but came back today and seemed to be right on target. I'm very happy with (sophomore walk-on) Jonathan Hill and (walk-on redshirt freshman) Grailen Johnson, but I'm really impressed with Glanton right now."
After the Friday practice, the depth chart consisted of Jeramie Johnson and Bobo at first team, followed by Evans and Hill on the second group. The third group consisted of Bell, Glanton, Kyles, Grailen Johnson and McAdams.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by email at email@example.com.