Tuesday Afternoon Practice Notes

Mississippi State wrapped up the first round of two-a-day drills with a Tuesday afternoon session, lasting from 3:45 to almost 6:00. Head Coach Sylvester Croom was not present, away on personal matters, as he had been in the morning practice.

The Bulldogs, who were in full-gear in the morning, were allowed to go through the afternoon drills in helmet and shoulder pads. They will be back in full pads for Wednesday's lone practice, starting at 7:30 a.m.

There was one addition to the red-cross list from the morning, as offensive tackle Roland Terry was sidelined with muscle tightness in his back and calves. He had gone through some morning drills but was clearly slowed and had dropped to the third unit.

Those who missed both Tuesday sessions were tackle J.D. Hamilton (ankle), back Anthony Dixon (ankle), cornerback Demario Bobo (hamstring), linebacker Gabe O'Neal (shoulder) and tight end Brandon Jones-Henderson (hamstring). Receiver Will Prosser has a sore shoulder but is participating in everything but contact work.

There were no apparent changes in the two-deep as reported from the morning session, other than at halfback. Brandon Thornton continues to run first-team but in the afternoon he was immediately backed up by junior squadman and former walk-on Justin Williams, who is now wearing first-unit maroon. And freshman Arnil Stallworth was third in the order in ground-game drills. Previous #2 Derek Ambrose has dropped down the chart and lost his maroon shirt for backup green.

Because he has not received a NCAA waiver for fall eligibility yet, transfer Christian Ducre continues to wear green and take limited snaps.

A couple of walk-ons have left the roster, leaving room for some week-two additions. Defensive back Grailen Johnson and offensive guard Gunner Boykin are the latest departures. Former scholarship DB Adrian Griffin has also quit, unable to climb the cornerback depth chart.

So Tuesday's afternoon roster showed the return of WR Jamayel Smith, who was on the 2005 team, taking one of the places. Other unfamiliar names dressed out Tuesday were FB Eric Hoskins of Weir/Holmes CC, RB David Bates of Birmingham, FB Cleveland Tubbs of Amory, TE Jeremy Cunningham of Madison, Ala., and KS Dylan Lanphere of North Charleston, S.C. The defense added lineman Anthony Smith.

Teams can practice up to 105 players (theoretically, 85 scholarship and 20 walk-on) during the dates preceding the start of the fall school semester when other walk-ons can join drills. The Tuesday afternoon official roster showed 101 names, including those injured Dogs.

A couple of slots are being left open in the event either RB Courtney Jones or WR Alex Carpenter, or both, are suddenly cleared by the NCAA to enroll. However, if they are cleared the true freshmen would still have to start out with the five-day ‘acclimation' period of no-pads and no-contact practices. Thus the probability grows that if not cleared soon, both would be likely to redshirt or even delay enrollment to spring if they chose.

State has two more two-a-day sessions, on Thursday and Monday.

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