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Monday Morning Coffee Break

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The Mississippi all-star football team played the Alabama all-star football team this past Saturday night in the 2002 MS/AL All-Star Football Classic. MSU had 12 signees participate in the game, including Ken Topps, Aries Nelson, Darren Williams, Richard Burch, Monte Collins, Kevin Dockery, Deljuan Robinson, Kenny Kern, Scott Shurden, Tee Milons, Brett Morgan, and Willie Evans. One other MSU signee, Jerious Norwood, was selected to play but couldn't because of medical reasons.

These are my observations after watching the all-star game on tape Sunday night. I viewed each play in slow-motion and watched a play two or three times when necessary.

Mississippi's MVP was Darren Williams. He played on defense, offense and returns kicks. He has a great chance to come in and play this season.

Also having very good nights for the Mississippi team were Scott Shurden, Richard Burch, Deljuan Robinson, Willie Evans, and Kenny Kern.

Scott Shurden made both of his extra points and his lone field goal attempt, a 29-yarder.

Richard Burch looked great on the offensive line. In fact, he was hands down the best player on the Mississippi offensive line. I now see why our offensive line coaches are so high on him. I put pluses beside Richard's name when he kept his man from getting near the ball-carrier and minuses by his name if his man got close to the ball-carrier or made the tackle. He received 2 minuses the entire game. Both of those occurred in the second half when he gave up on his man a little too early. For the most part, Richard didn't even let his man get past the line of scrimmage and several times he pushed him off the line of scrimmage and down the field. In my opinion, Richard is a big-time talent who has a chance to come in and play this year if he is absolutely needed.

Deljuan Robinson played on the defensive line and at tight end. On the defensive side of the ball, he showed promise, although you could tell he hasn't played on the D-line that much (he was a linebacker in high school) because he didn't exhibit much technique. He did show good strength bull-rushing his man. He could wind up making a very good defensive end. However, in my opinion, on the offensive side was where Deljuan was most impressive. There were very few times his man made a play. The play that he made that impressed me the most was on Aries Nelson's 39-yard touchdown run as time was running out in the first half. Deljuan, playing tight end, blocked his man at the start of what looked like a very ordinary play. However, when Aries started scrambling was when Big Del got into the action big-time. After Aries crossed the line of scrimmage, Deljuan ran in front of him to lead the blocking. While running down the field, he took out one man, laying him on the ground. Aries, knowing when he had a good thing going, stayed right behind big ole Del as they ran down the sidelines. Deljuan, at about the 10 or 15-yard line, knocked another would-be defender off his feet and out of bounds. From that point on, Aries had clear sailing and scored the touchdown. Most folks, including me, gave almost all the credit to Aries, and he does deserve a lot of credit, but Deljuan Robinson did a great, great blocking job to clear the way for Aries after he got past the line of scrimmage. The coaches at MSU have a very happy dilemma with Deljuan. He has great potential on both sides of the ball.

I was also impressed with offensive lineman Monte Collins in very limited action. He was in for just three series during the game, two of those after the 7:15 minute mark in the 4th quarter. Although he obviously needs to lose a lot of weight, his man rarely made a play because Monte was just too big to run around or over. It would have been nice to see what the Mississippi team could have done with Burch, Robinson and Collins all in at the same time during most of the game.

Willie Evans, who played on the defensive line and to a smaller degree at tight end (in the first half), showed exceptional quickness and very good balance (he was knocked off his feet just one time that I can recall). He continuously out-quicked his man and was almost always in the backfield the first three quarters on passing plays. He made between 5 and 6 tackles in the game. He would have made more, but Alabama rarely ran the ball his way. I did notice that he slowed down in the fourth quarter and was taken out of the game the last two defensive series of the contest. I know he was signed as a fullback but he has great potential as a defensive end.

Linebacker Kenny Kern made 7 tackles in the game and showed very good potential. He really hustles and never quits on the play.

Three other Mississippi State high school signees from Mississippi, Otis Riddley, Corvelli Haynes and David Heard, will be playing for the north team in the 2002 Bernard Blackwell Classic, which will pit the best high school football players from south Mississippi against the best from north Mississippi.


Mississippi State won the recruiting battle for Big-12 honorable mention selection Shane Power. Shane, who will have three years to play two, chose Mississippi State over Notre Dame (his second choice), Pittsburgh, New Mexico and Virginia. He will have to sit out this coming season before becoming eligible. Shane told me that he plans on coming in for the second summer session.


Almost all of the MSU baseball players will be playing summer ball throughout the country. Several Diamond Dawgs have decided to not play summer ball this year for various reasons. They are Matthew Brinson, Jeff Lacher, Joey Collums, and Cager Garner.

BTW, Jamie Gant, a freshman right-handed pitcher who was redshirted this past season, was clocked at 89-90 mph this past spring, an increase of about 3 mph from the fall.


Several of you have mentioned on the message board that you would like for some posts to be removed because they keep jumping back to the top of the message board because they have new posts in the thread. There is a simple solution to this problem: You can go into your message board Edit Preference and change the way you have your preferences set up.

To do this, all you need to do is go to the message board, click on MY CONTROL CENTER, then click on EDIT PREFERENCES. On the right-hand side of the next page you will see a box beside the sentence Automatically Move New Topics To Top.

Removing the check mark from the box beside Automatically Move New Topics To Top will cause the topics to stay in their original position. If it remains check marked, all topic will automatically move to the top of the message board everytime a new message is posted in a topic (thread).


Mary Ann has added all of the spring and summer Bulldog Celebration and other MSU events to the calendar that she has been notified of. If you don't see yours on the calendar, please email her at the email address listed below.

If you have a MSU related event coming up and you don't see it listed on the Gene's Page calendar, email Mary Ann your information and she will post it on the calendar. We purchased the calendar for your use, so please don't hesitate using it. Mary Ann's new email address is maryannswindoll@genespage.com.

Well, that wraps up this week's edition of the Monday Morning Bulldog Coffee Break.

Have a great Bulldog week!

Gene Swindoll

Archived Monday Morning Coffee Break Articles:
June 10, 2002
June 3, 2002
May 27, 2002
May 20, 2002
May 13, 2002
May 6, 2002
April 29, 2002
April 22, 2002
April 15, 2002 (None)
April 8, 2002
April 1, 2002
March 25, 2002
March 4, 2002
Feb. 25, 2002
Feb. 18, 2002
Feb. 11, 2002
Feb. 4, 2002
Jan. 28, 2002
Jan. 21, 2002
Jan. 14, 2002
Jan. 7, 2002
Dec. 31, 2001
Dec. 24, 2001
Dec. 17, 2001
Dec. 10, 2001
Dec. 3, 2001
Nov. 26, 2001
Nov. 19, 2001
Nov. 12, 2001
Nov. 7, 2001

Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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