Scott Sallach: MSU Tight Ends

Mississippi State tight ends coach Scott Sallach talks about the tight end position and about his players individually.

What are your thoughts about the tight end position?
"Overall, the guys have the skill set to do the things (MSU head) Coach (Dan) Mullen and (offensive coordinator) Coach (Les) Koenning wants them to do in the offense. It may not be one guy that does all of them but they cover all the bases because everybody's strengths are a little different. But a lot of the guys missed time in the spring.

"It will be interesting to see (sophomore) Marcus Green in action with him missing the spring after coming off his injury.

"Hopefully (junior) Brandon Henderson can stay healthy because he has a lot of upside.

What is the latest on Green as far as his rehab?
"The last time I asked about him he seemed to be doing a lot better than before. Every report that I have had has been positive on his progress. But he really started at ground zero with (strength) Coach (Matt) Balis because he couldn't do much due to having surgery."

Is he expected to be 100% when the fall practices start?
"Everything that I hear indicates he will. I talked to him the other day and he said he was feeling pretty good, so that is encouraging."

Sophomore Kendrick Cook ended the depth chart number 1 at the end of spring. What do you like about him?
"Kendrick toughed out the spring and was there all spring. Sometimes you keep going up the chain because you stay there.

"Kendrick is more of your attached tight end. What I mean by that is he is more of your traditional tight end with your hand on the ground. (Because of that) his strengths are different than Marcus' and Brandon's. While they can be more successful moving and getting mis-matches in space, Kendrick can be more successful being inside, being closer to the ball because he doesn't run the same type routes as those guys or have the same type hands as those guys even though he made some nice catches in the spring game.

"He needs to become a warrior in the weight room so that he can get stronger and change his body a little bit to better utilize his skills. It's not a lack of effort on his part. He's just got to mature. You don't become stronger overnight. You have to continue working at it."

What do you like about Brandon Henderson?
"He is a very athletic individual who can do a lot of things. He can be flexed out and create some mis-matches, he has good hands, he has the ability to run good routes.

"I told him he can be as good as he wants to be but like anything else in life if you want to be good you have to put in the time, effort and make sacrifices. And from the reports that I am receiving, he's taking steps in the right direction because he's upped his performance a little bit."

What are your thoughts about junior Thomas Webb?
"He is more the prototypical tight end. He is going to be much better with his hand on the ground, lining up next to a tackle as opposed to being out in space. But he does a little bit of everything, more of a combination of what the other guys are. I wouldn't say he's great at anything but he's also not bad at anything. With him, we just have to find his niche, find what he excels at. And I think that is when he has his hand on the ground."

What are your thoughts about senior walk-on Austin Wilbanks.
"He will probably be a special teams contributor, but he also understands what we are trying to do so you can bounce him around a little bit. That happened during the spring when guys were out due to injuries. (When someone was out) we would put Austin in because he knew what was supposed to happen.

"Allen Tolbert (another walk-on) is a hard worker who has the passion for (the game). He's one of those guys who need to be around it a little longer to get a better feel for how he is going to fit into what we are doing."

There are no tight end newcomers.-Gene

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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