Early Report: Bulldogs Open Two-A-Day Drills

Mississippi State began the round of two-a-day practices Wednesday with a 7:30 morning session. The Bulldogs were also able to begin hitting in earnest, having put in the mandated five-day August acclimation period.

The first team offense saw one change Wednesday. Senior RT Avery House is ill and wearing a no-contact yellow jersey, the same as freshman RT Calvin Wilson. Wilson, his recovering knee still sore from surgery's expected after-effects, remains officially the #2 at the position.

But for full-squad contact a healthy body is needed, so junior James Redmond was promoted to first team and is wearing a Maroon shirt for the first time in camp. Also, tight end Eric Butler has finally gotten his Maroon jersey, joining Jason Husband as a co-#1 at the position.

Other players dressed in yellow this morning are wideout Keon Humphries, H-back Dezmond Sherrod (just promoted from no-work status), and linebacker Gabe O'Neal. Flanker Will Prosser remains in a red cross jersey, as does walk-on defensive lineman Mike Evans.

The second offensive line is now, right to left, Wilson, Johnny Carpenter, Royce Blackledge, Dio Herrera, and Michael Gates. The third front is House, Craig Jenkins, walk-on Daniel Kennedy at center, Chris Spencer, and Roland Terry.

State practiced punting and punt-receiving early in the day, with Brooks Crabtree by far the most consistent kicker. Among those catching the punts were Jerious Norwood, Tee Milons, Jonathan Lowe, and Derek Pegues.

Midway of practices the focus again turned to passing practices, using four-receiver sets and a tight end. The first group of wideouts were Milons, Joey Sanders, Tay Bowser, and Lance Long. The second grouping featured Corey Gardhigh (still in partial pads only) and running back Brandon Thornton split wide, with Adron Chambers and Humphries set in the slots. At one point Croom told Omarr Conner there should be more deep balls thrown after the quarterback settled early on for shorter targets.

There wasn't a lot of success still with longer connections, especially with the freshmen receivers who are showing signs of ‘dead legs' after five working days. Bowser in particular struggled this morning as the youngster, like his classmates, struggles to fight through first-week exhaustion.

The kids, and their older teammates, had best bounce back quickly because afternoon practice begins at 3:45.

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