Thursday Morning Practice Notebook

*PRINCE RETURNS: The pre-semester camp roster grew by one Thursday morning as defensive lineman Rodney Prince reported for work. This being his first day, Prince was in shorts and helmet while the rest of the squad was in full padding for the first date of camp. Prince has to cycle through the five-day ‘acclimation' period required by the NCAA to begin camp.

Prince, a third-year sophomore, was scheduled to rejoin the 2008 roster when the fall semester starts August 18. But with a walk-on leaving the team earlier this week, a slot opened on the 105-man pre-semester roster. Prince was chosen over cornerback Anthony Johnson, who also could have been brought back for this opening. Mississippi State's staff opted to wait the extra ten days on Johnson because he is still recovering from the badly-broken ankle of last November that kept him out of all spring training. Johnson will come back on the 18th, and like Prince be on scholarship again, but both will have to sit out the full season as they regain academic eligibility.

Prince, Johnson, and linebacker Jamon Hughes were all dismissed from the team and school midway of the spring semester for after-the-fact involvement in the incident that resulted in permanent dismissals of offensive tackle Mike Brown and defensive end Quentin Wesley. The trio have completed their legal proceedings and re-admitted to Mississippi State and thus are allowed back on the team. Hughes will come back on the 18th as well, though as a walk-on.

Prince brings the camp roster to 103, two short of the maximum allowed. Those slots are reserved for when DL Trevor Stigers and QB Terrance Davis are finally cleared to practice, which had not happened as of this morning.

*INJURY UPDATES: Two more defensive players were on the injured list for Thursday morning. Starting right defensive end Jamon Hughes was in limited-work purple with a hamstring; while freshman safety Charles Mitchell had a somewhat more serious hamstring and was in a red-cross shirt and held entirely out.

Also in purple on defense were starting LDT Kyle Love, still hampered by a toe problem, and alternate LDT LaMarcus Williams (shoulder). Both Williams and Bailey were still working with the first unit in non-contact drills. CB Damein Anderson (hamstring) and DE Brandon Cooper (back) are still in red-cross also.

On offense, backup LT Chris Spencer (concussion) was sidelined a second day. Second OC D.J. Looney (meniscus), freshman HB T.J. Patterson (ankle), and KS Eric Richards (hip) were in limited-yellow.

WR Jamayel Smith returned to work after missing Wednesday with heat-related issues.

*SCHEDULE: The Bulldogs worked the first eight periods in unit drills before media were excused and full-team work began in full-gear. Coach Croom did not meet with press after today's morning session because at noon he will hold the annual Media Day conference to discuss camp progress and prospects as a whole.

Friday will see the first of the three allowed two-a-day sessions, with a morning practice at 7:00 and afternoon work at 4:00. Typically, the first practice will be in full gear and the afternoon one in shorts. That is more likely in this case since Saturday afternoon State will have the first of two fall scrimmages. The practice is closed to the public.


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