STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Unusually cool weather greeted the Mississippi State football team on Thursday afternoon as the 105-man Bulldogs went through their first practice of preseason camp in just over two hours at the Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex.
MSU worked on all three phases, going through drills and installation in helmets and shorts. Friday’s schedule calls for split-squad workouts with one group participating in the morning and one in the afternoon. Saturday and Sunday workouts will feature the Bulldogs in shoulder pads and helmets before going through the first full pads practice on Monday.
Sixth-year head coach Dan Mullen liked the energy he saw from a veteran team that spent much of the summer conducting its own individual workouts without staff.
“It tells you that you've got a lot of leadership amongst the team,” said Mullen. “You have guys that are setting the standard within their position group, within the offensive and defensive units and overall on the whole team. A lot of the young guys are going to follow the lead.
“I thought the guys came out today with great energy, great excitement and ready to go play. We put stuff in, threw stuff at people and we have such a wide mix on the team - from old to young guys.”
Mullen said senior Ferlando Bohanna, who missed a portion of last season to a head injury, will serve as a student coach for the squad this fall.
“It was something we went back and forth with, the decision to medical redshirt him or not or try to come back,” said Mullen. “I think he could've been cleared to play but with where concussions are with young people right now, it was a great discussion we had sitting down. He is much more comfortable medically redshirting and playing out his last year as a coach and helping other guys out just in his long-term future.”
Mullen also discussed freshman Rashun Dixon joining the team after playing six years of professional baseball in the Oakland Athletics organization. Dixon, the brother of former MSU running back Anthony Dixon, originally committed to the Bulldogs in 2008.
MSU will conduct its annual media day at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and it will be streamed live for free. Fans can access a link that will be posted online and via social media on Friday and Saturday. Mullen begins the media day followed by coordinators John Hevesy, Billy Gonzales and Geoff Collins.