MSU RB Coach Shane Beamer Likes What he Sees

Mississippi State running backs coach, Shane Beamer, has been pleased with the play of the veterans and has been very impressed with the progress of his three freshmen.

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According to Beamer, veteran halfbacks Brandon Thornton and Derek Ambrose have picked up right where they left off in the spring.

"They've done well. They've picked up where they left off in the spring," he said. "They've been good leaders for us, but they have to keep working because they have two young guys hot on their heals."

One of those freshmen, Anthony Dixon, started off with a bang, but has been slowed recently due to a hamstring pull. But he should be back on the practice field soon.

"Anthony is day to day right now. We are doing everything we can in the training room. He won't be out long," said Beamer. "He's missing quality reps, but he's getting mental reps with me on every play."

Another freshman, Arnil Stallworth, has taken advantage of his opportunities and appears to be catching on to the system well, although both he and Dixon still have things they need to work on.

"I've been impressed with Stallworth and how he's picked up the system," said Beamer. "The biggest thing with he and Dixon is ball security, making sure they protect the football. Also, learning to run north-south. At the high school level, they were able to get on the outside and outrun people. Here, defenses are too fast. You aren't going to outrun many people if you start running right to left."

A third freshman, Tulane transfer Christian Ducre, is making a good impression on the practice field with the power running that he has shown. In a recent tackling drill, he used his power to run over a linebacker.

"I saw (his power) on tape and knew he was a good runner, but I didn't know he had quite that much power," said Beamer. "That's what we want to see at that position."

There's a possibility that one or more of the three freshmen could see some playing time this season.

"Right now, we are going in with the attitude that they are all going to play," said Beamer. "So, we are getting them ready to play. Then, after the first scrimmage, we will have a better idea about who is playing and who is not playing (this season)."

A fifth halfback, walk-on Justin Williams, has also done some good things during the fall camp.

"Justin Williams, who was here in the spring, has done a good job for us," said Beamer. "He's a physical runner who knows the system, what to do and will always be in the right place."

While it's up in the air as to which players will be at halfback once the season begins, the fullback position is a different story due to having two experienced seniors.

"(Seniors) Bryson (Davis), Casey (Rogers), (sophomore) Brandon Hart and (walk-on sophomore) Taurus Young are our fullbacks. We also have a walk-on junior college transfer, Eric Hoskins (Holmes CC by way of Weir HS), who is doing some good things at fullback as well," said Beamer. "Bryson and Casey have been very solid and Brandon Hart has really had a good fall. Brandon is running fullback and doing some halfback in certain situations."

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

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