MSU DB Coach Smith Talks About His Players

Mississippi State defensive back coach Melvin Smith talks in detail about each of his players.

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What are your thoughts about your four starters, David Heard, Derek Pegues, Jeramie Johnson and Keith Fitzhugh?
"David Heard has a lot of experience and has done a good job. I've been really pleased with David. The things I've talked to him about doing to try and get better, he's worked at. I want him to be a better technician, just show a little more sense of urgency and he's done that. I'm looking for a lot of good things out of David.

"(Derek Pegues) has been pretty steady. I've been really pleased with him. He's playing a hard position. Playing cornerback in this league; very few people can do that. He's worked hard everyday trying to get better and he's gotten better. He's had some frustrations, which comes with that job. I think he's going to be good player in this league.

"(Jeramie Johnson) is a heady, smart player. He's a physical player who is tough. And I like tough guys. He's everything that I want in a safety.

"I really like Keith (Fitzhugh). I think that Keith has similar abilities as Jeramie Johnson. He really cares about doing a good job. They are smart, heady players who were well-coached guys when I got them."

You have three other guys, Demario Bobo, De'Mon Glanton and Marcus Evans, who should provide great depth. In fact, Bobo, has been a starter and could fill that role again.
"Demario Bobo is a proven player. He had surgery, but he's been a starter here at safety and corner. When he's healthy, he'll be a good player for us. Where we need him the most right now is at safety.

"De'Mon Glanton is a good, solid reserve. He's a guy who you can depend on. He's smart and knows what to do. He's constantly working on things he doesn't do well.

"Marcus Evans is a veteran reserve player. He is a guy who can do a lot of things. He's good to have around."

Marcus Washington, Adron Chambers and Anthony Johnson are freshmen cornerbacks. What are your thoughts about them?
"I think they are really good, young players. They have speed, quickness, intelligence and are hard nosed. I feel blessed to be able to work with them at this stage in their life. I think they are all going to be really good players."

At safety you have four youngsters who have talent, Anthony Summers, Jarvis Kyles, Tay Bowser and Jonathan Hill.
"Anthony Summers is a safety who is young player who is working his butt off trying to get better. Jarvis Kyles and Jonathan Hill are worked into several packages. I also have Tay Bowser at safety. He's a talented young player. But like a lot of young kids that I have, he has talent, but you have to get them headed in the right direction."

You've got a lot of talented players in the secondary. In fact, there are about 14 to 16 at safety and cornerback combined.
"This day and time you better have a bunch of DBs. If you are playing a team that likes to come in 11 personnel, 10 personnel and 4 wides and the spread offense, you have to be able to play with six defensive back type guys. If you have two groups, that's 12 guys. Then, if you get a guy nicked up, you have to make changes. And you have to have some defensive backs who are big enough to play close to the line of scrimmage. Sometimes you don't get the personnel matchups that you want, so you have to line up against base personnel."

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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