STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Football returned to Starkville on Friday night as Mississippi State practiced for just under two hours at the Leo M. Seal football complex.
The Bulldogs spent the morning in position meetings and walk throughs and will increase installation each day leading up to the first full pads practice on Wednesday.
Following Friday's practice, head coach Joe Moorhead met with the media. Quotes from the media session are below.
State will return to the field Saturday for its second practice. Sunday will be an off day followed by practices on Monday and Tuesday.
All practices and scrimmages during preseason camp are closed to the public.
The Bulldogs will practice three more times before going full pads on Aug. 7, followed by their first scrimmage on Aug. 10. The second year of the Moorhead era will get underway on Aug. 31 against Louisiana in New Orleans.
Single game tickets, mini-plans and season tickets for 2019 can be purchased at HailState.com/Tickets, by calling 1-888-GO-DAWGS or in person at the MSU Athletic Ticket Office on the first floor of the Bryan Athletic Administration Building (288 Lakeview Drive), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Quotes from head coach Joe Moorhead's media session – Aug. 2, 2019
Q: What are your early impressions of the quarterbacks?
JM: "I don't think of it as just Keytaon Thompson and Tommy Stevens, but I also thought Garrett Shrader, Jalen Mayden and Logan Burnett had their moments today. It was just one practice in helmets and shirts, but they all had their moments today. We are just excited to see how the competition plays out."
Q: How good was it to get back out on the field today?
JM: "It was great. You have that time off at the end of the season. There are only so many little league games you can go to until you're ready to get back out onto the field. I thought Cory Bichey and his staff did a nice job with the strength and conditioning program. It was apparent that the guys came back in great shape. We went over the testing numbers from the summer. Just seeing the guys run around bigger, stronger, faster, more athletic and more explosive was an incredible positive."
Q: Were there any guys who stood out from the weight room?
JM: "There were a bunch. We gave out our awards for top summer conditioning at each position. I don't have that in front of me, but it was a good list. The guys who won it deserve it."
Q: Are you guys still expecting Kareem Walker to get here for camp?
JM: "He will be here. He's finishing up a few administrative items academically. It should be early next week."
Q: Can you give some clarification on the Corliss Waitman situation?
JM: "Corliss had his waiver for a sixth year of eligibility denied through the NCAA. Right now, he is not with us. He is with his family right now exploring some options. Once we find out more on that, we will let you know."
Q: How quickly do you expect Izuchukwu King Ani to be out there with you?
JM: "It all depends. He's had a couple of things in his upper and lower body that he got fixed. He's working to get healed up. Hopefully it will be some point this season, but if not, he's a great redshirt candidate. He's a guy that physically had some things from high school that he needed to get fixed."
Q: How did Garrett Shrader look coming off his shoulder injury?
JM: "He was fine. There were no lingering effects. He was one of our top performers from a strength and conditioning testing standpoint. He went out and was ripping it today."
Q: Going back to the quarterbacks, I saw Keytaon Thompson running with the ones. Is that an indication that he is ahead right now?
JM: "It was probably indicative of the drill you saw. The way we do it is we switch every period. Whoever goes with the ones on the first drill will then go with the twos on the second drill. That way they are getting an even number of reps with both the ones and twos in every period and throughout practice."
Q: You said you thought Tommy Stevens would have 80 to 90 percent of the verbiage down on the first day of practice. Did he?
JM: "He knew 100 percent. There were things that we did in our offseason studies. There were also some things that we added that wouldn't have been just new to him but to everyone. We changed some words in the plays, but he understood the concepts. It wasn't like trying to teach it to a new freshman. It was like teaching it to a guy who's been in the system for three years."
Q: Tommy got to go to the Manning Passing Academy. Have you had other quarterbacks go to that, and did he say anything about his experience?
JM: "I saw Archie and Peyton Manning at the Neshoba County Fair. They got a cabin there, which is pretty cool. They were singing his praises. I saw Jim Nagy from the Senior Bowl at media days, and he thought he did well with some of the best guys in the country down there. If nothing else, it was a good experience for him."
Q: How do you feel like your new hires are starting to acclimate to the system?
JM: "I feel great about the new staff and new hires … Coach Tony Hughes is not just a great coach and recruiter. He's also a great person and being at Mississippi State is incredibly important to him. I've won a conference championship with Terry Richardson. Michael Johnson has coordinated in the NFL and college. He's doing great with the receivers. Obviously, we have Deke Adams from Meridian. Chris Marve was an All-SEC performer and has a bunch of experience in the SEC. It's important for them to be at Mississippi State, and they understand what a wonderful opportunity it is for them."
Q: Chauncey Rivers was a guy who was mentioned about sliding into a bigger role. What did his weight room numbers look like and what is different about him?
JM: "I think he changed his body composition. He didn't add much weight, but he got a little more defined. Chauncey has always been a guy who could lift, squat, run and jump. I think he kind of added to that this summer. I don't want to say that he was situational last year because that's not accurate. He was a rotational player. Between he and Fletcher Adams, Kobe Jones and Marquiss Spencer, you're talking about four starters."
Q: Is Korey Charles playing receiver now? There was a No. 16 playing wide receiver and he was the only one on the roster.
JM: "Vincent Taylor changed his number. That was a late switch. Sorry about that."
Q: How do you come up with verbiage for plays?
JM: "During the course of a game, we have multiple people who signal tempo, multiple people who signal the formation and multiple people who signal the play. Someone is live and the other is a dummy. We change that up during the course of a game. In terms of the words and what we use at the line of scrimmage, if someone is capable of getting it echoed back to their coaches, them finding out what it is and then get the good call back in the stadiums that we play in, then so be it. In all of the years, I've been running a system that has not been an issue unless coaches go somewhere else. Then you might change some things."
Q: How quickly is Isaiah Zuber picking things up?
JM: "He's a heck of an athlete. Obviously, his body of work as a receiver and returner in the Big 12 speaks for itself. Not just with Isaiah, but one of the things I was more impressed by today is the sense of urgency and execution that has been increased because of the enhanced competition at every position. You go across the board where different battles are going on. Guys want to get on the field, so they're trying to be on top of their game throughout practice so they can play. With his situation at receiver, the increased level of competition was one of the most positive things I saw today."
Q: You mentioned Coach Marve bringing SEC experience. What has he been like with the linebackers so far?
JM: "I can see why he was an All-SEC football player because he coaches like he plays. He's very passionate and knowledgeable and is a great communicator with the kids. He does a good job motivating. I think the guy is a future coordinator and head coach down the line. He is doing a great job with the linebackers so far."
MSU Preseason Training Camp Practice Schedule (practices closed to the public)
Saturday, August 3
Monday, August 5
Tuesday, August 6
Wednesday, August 7 – First Practice in Full Pads
Thursday, August 8
Friday, August 9
Saturday, August 10 – Scrimmage
Monday, August 12
Tuesday, August 13
Wednesday, August 14
Thursday, August 15
Friday, August 16
Saturday, August 17 – Scrimmage
Monday, August 19
Tuesday, August 20
Wednesday, August 21 – First Day of Classes
Friday, August 23
Saturday, August 24 – Scrimmage
Sunday, August 25