Practice Report: The Little Things

Over the course of the past two practices, here are a few things you probably won't read elsewhere.

  • True freshman Blake McAdams, during the practice periods that the media was allowed to attend, practice exclusively at punter. Previously, he had shared duties at punter and safety. As David noted in his article today, he has hit some very impressive punts. However, to expand on that, Blake hits the ball like it's been shot out of a cannon. They just fly off of his foot. Plus, of the punts I've seen by him, almost all of them have a nice tight spiral, which allows the ball to cut through the wind like a knife cutting through butter.

  • Guys that returned punts Tuesday included Tee Milons, Jonathan Lowe, Adron Chambers and 5-4 walk-on Dennis Little. Little is a redshirt freshman running back who played for Central High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Punters included Brooks Crabtree, Blake McAdams and Adam Carlson.

  • During the board drill part of Monday's practice, two freshmen, redshirt freshman Dio Herrera and true freshman Chris Spencer, showed signs of developing the mental toughness that Coach Croom is looking for. Herrera, who has size, conditioning and talent, had two dominating blocks, one against defensive tackle Corey Clark. Spencer, going up against one of the toughest defensive lineman to block one on one, Avery Hannibal, won the battle. Coach Croom was so impressed that he told Spencer, 'You have a little nastiness in you.' For those of you who don't know what the board drill is, an offensive lineman and a defensive lineman go one on one against each other while their feet straddle a pad that has the look of a board.

  • It's not unusual for the coaches, at the end of the board drill, to pit two of the more well known players against each other, sometimes it's two veteran players or a veteran player against a freshman who you get the feeling the coaches think will be a great player in the future. Monday, during the morning board drill, true freshman Anthony Dunning came up to the line. The coaches told veteran defensive lineman Avery Hannibal to face off against him. While Dunning gave it his all, Hannibal won the matchup. In the afternoon practice, sophomore tight end Eric Butler walked up to the line. The coaches told Mike Heard to take him on. Butler won the battle.

  • You know the coaches, you know the players, but I bet you don't know who the student video graphers are. These guys are the ones the coaches count on to film the practices. They are seniors Matthew Lucas, Drew Wilson and Michael Capers, junior Mark Hogan and sophomores Adam Alsup and Justin Vollenweider. These guys work 30 to 35 hours a week during training camp and 20 to 25 hours a week during the season.

  • MSU assistant baseball coach Russ McNickle attended Tuesday's practice. That is the second time I've seen him at one of the practices. MSU golf coach Clay Homan attended the Monday afternoon practice. Both told me that they were impressed with that they saw.

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

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