Dan Mullen Talks MSU Freshmen

Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen provides a very early look at how the freshmen are doing in practice.

What are your thoughts about your freshmen after seeing them in practice for about a week?
"It's still so early......"

What about somebody like a Fletcher Cox?
"Fletcher Cox, Josh Boyd and Johnathan McKenzie have great futures, tremendous futures I think here. But they are still learning because it's a whole different speed. The college game is a lot faster than the high school game, so they are all trying to catch up. They might look like they have the physical build but it's incorporating and using that on the field to get caught up with the other guys."

You coached at Florida so you've recruited what folks would consider some of the elite athletes in the nation. How do those three compare to freshmen defensive linemen you saw at Florida?
"As freshmen, you watch them perform on the field and they may not be as ready to play as true freshmen or developed as some other guys are but the potential of what they could be is as good as any group in the country."

What are your thoughts about freshman offensive lineman Gabe Jackson?
"He's got a long way to go but it's still so early. He's only been in pads for a few days and he's still trying to figure out where to line up, never mind how to read the blocks. And we probably have 25 run plays in for Gabe Jackson to try and figure out. And that doesn't even include all the protections."

What are your thoughts about the physical skills of the freshmen?
"Their physical skills look pretty good. I'm impressed with their physical skills as freshmen. (Wide receiver) Chad Bumphis looks pretty good. (Wide receiver) Brandon Heavens was looking good but he twicked a groin (Saturday). Those guys have a chance. They just have to catch up with the college game. But if they continue to push themselves and really develop they could have a very successful class for four years."

I know they aren't freshmen but punter Heath Hutchins and kicker Sean Brauchle are two junior college newcomers that could have major impacts on this year's team. How are they doing?
"They are doing ok. But they are the same way (as the freshmen), they have the talent but they haven't worked at the discipline level required (to be successful) in the SEC. They have gotten away with talent in the past, but now they have to really hone in on their fundamentals to get better."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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