"They are all in a lot better shape," said Stringer. "They have added some weight, but it's good weight. Eric Butler weighs about 252 and is very, very solid. Jason Husband is up to about 220. Dezmond (Sherrod) is a solid 245. The pleasant surprise was Jeremy Jones. At one time, he was about 285. Now, he's about 255. He's running real well and is probably in the best shape of his life. He's really working hard. I think he will have a chance to help this season even though he's a (redshirt) freshman."
Jones, the former LSU signee who transferred to MSU late last summer after things didn't work out at LSU, sat out last year to recover from a knee injury. However, he didn't waste time his true freshman year. He spent the time learning Mississippi State's offensive scheme and it seems to have paid off based on what Stringer said.
"He is a very heady player who has picked things up very well," said the first-year coach. "And he has a lot of ability. But he's behind everybody else on footwork, hand placement...things like that. But just picking up the basic concepts and understanding what routes to run, he's really doing that very well."
While Jones is a guy that could be a major factor at the the tight ends position over the course of the next four years, there are already two on the team that could be as good of a tandem as MSU fans have seen in awhile - sophomores Eric Butler and Jason Husband.
"Eric's potential is unlimited," said Stringer of the sophomore. "He really has the ability to be an explosive player this year and in the years to come. What he has to do is learn to push himself. We are constantly pushing him to get him to play to his ability. And he's starting to do that, because he's really working hard.
"(Husband) was a little rusty the first day on the technical things, but he came out the second day and corrected his mistakes. He's still going to make mistakes and he's still a little light in certain situations, but he finds a way to get the job done."
Who is first-team and who is second-team at this time?
"Jason is still first-team, but Eric Butler is pushing him very hard right now," said Stringer. "It's going to be fun to watch those two guys battle it out. No matter what happens, we will have two good ones and we are a two tight end team anyway."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by email at email@example.com.