Tough But Fun

He came in as one of the most highly thought of freshmen in the Mississippi State 2009 recruiting class, a class ranked number 16 in's final recruiting ranking, but wide receiver Chad Bumphis found out like all freshmen do that the collegiate game is much tougher than high school. But despite that he's having the time of his life.

"It's a lot tougher than high school but it's so much fun," said the 5-10, 195-pound speedster. "I love it. And winning does help."

Chad explained the main difference in college compared to high school that has been the biggest adjustment for him.

"In high school you catch the ball and turn around and run to the other side of the field," he said. "And there is a very high chance that you are going to score. But you do that (in college) you might need help getting off the field because everybody is so fast. You just have to get what you can get, taking what you see."

But Chad, a four-star recruit out of high school, wants to be able to do more than just take what he can get. He eventually wants to be able to do the same things he did in high school that helped him receive double digit scholarship offers from national programs throughout the nation. And he believes he knows what needs to be done to achieve that goal.

"I think it will just be learning but the main thing is using your vision, like seeing the field," said Chad. "And it's just going to take some time to get used to that."

And it's not just the field vision that he will need to learn. After game one, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen came away less than impressed with the blocking of Chad and fellow true freshman wide receiver Brandon Heavens. Partly due to that, Chad got on the field less against game-two opponent Auburn. But Chad understood why his blocking wasn't up to par and made some adjustments that allowed him to get more snaps in the Vanderbilt victory.

"It was pretty much due to not being in the correct position," said Chad. "We were either over-running the block or they were knifing up the field. (Mississippi State wide receivers) Coach Hud (Mark Hudspeth) helped us out a lot in practice."

While individual improvement is important to Chad, even more important is continued improvement in the team. And Chad feels the victory over Vanderbilt went a long way to give this year's Bulldog team a lot of confidence going into the LSU game.

"It was big for us," said Chad Bumphis. " Like Coach Mullen said, that was what we needed. It was like a program builder. It has given us a lot of confidence. And we are going to need that going into this week because this is such a big game."

Mississippi State and LSU play Saturday morning with gametime set for 11:21 am. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

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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