Robert Elliott and Tobias Smith Healthy

Both running back Robert Elliott and offensive lineman Tobias Smith came in amid much hype. But injuries have kept both from reaching their potential. With both now 100% healthy, things are finally looking up for both players.

"I'm 100% healthy now," said Tobias Smith who was penciled in as a starter prior to the start of the 2009 season until a high ankle sprain put him on the bench. "I was never 100% during the season because it was a nagging injury, a high ankle sprain."

Now he's healthy again and trying to pick up where he left off.

"I feel I'm doing pretty good with everything," said Smith. "I basically know the offense so it is coming back to me. So, I'm doing pretty good with that."

There is one aspect of his game that needs work on, though.

"Technique is what I'm really working on right now," said Smith.

A player Smith will be blocking for is fourth-year junior running back Robert Elliott. After redshirting his true freshman season, Elliott suffered an ACL injury early in his redshirt freshman season and wasn't quite 100% during the 2009 season, his sophomore year. But things are looking good for Elliott during the spring.

"I feel 100% but I did catch a little bit of tendinitis from putting pressure on it," said Elliott. "Other than that, I feel good."

Elliott gives a lot of credit for his health to the MSU trainers and the MSU head strength coach.

"I'm 100% right now because (MSU head strength) Coach (Matt) Balis and the trainers got my leg stronger," said Elliott. "I can cut off of it this year. And I have my speed and quickness back."

With the health issue now behind him, he's focusing his undivided attention on continuing to learn the Dan Mullen offense.

"We are trying to get a recall of the system," said Elliott. "It's the same as we ran last year, although there are a few things that are different."

He's also trying to earn the starting spot that has opened up due to the departure of Anthony Dixon. The competition is fierce, though.

"We are all competing right now," said Elliott. "We are all pushing each other to help each other become better players."

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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