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August 3, 2013
The final two-a-day practice that the fans would be able to see was closed to the public as it was moved inside the confines of the Palmeiro Center Saturday afternoon with the 3rd and 4th team players getting their practice time in.
The media was allowed in, however, and I was able to get some footage as you see above and gave some sort of analysis on what was being filmed. Take what you will from that and don't consider me an expert.
The freshmen again looked solid in day 3 of the fall camp with several players turning heads. Chris Jones battled Columbus, Miss., standout tackle, Jake Thomas in 11-on-11 scrimmaging. That battle, while obviously won by Jones, was one of the more fun battles of the preseason so far. Thomas, a gritty player, was out manned by the monstrous Jones but was going to refuse to let him get past him. Needless to say, that was an intense standoff.
Sophomore Nick James seems to be Jones' bash brother on the field as the two are just about inseparable which, seeing them in live action side-by-side coming out of their stance, is an extremely scary thing. The two work to make each other better which could be the best thing for each player and make them an even more dangerous tandem. Also, it's extremely fun to imagine a Jones, James, Evans front wall.
De'Runnya Wilson is a kid that I've really grown to like over the last three days. Still incredibly raw and not even in the playbook yet, he has tremendous ability with his size and length. Watching him run his routes reminded me of another great MSU athlete, O'Neil Wilder. Wilder chose to take his talents to the track after a couple of seasons and Dan Mullen hopes Wilson doesn't choose to focus only on basketball soon. He's been good early.
B.J. Hammond continues to impress as well. While not showing any flash, I find something in Hammond that I like. He's very coachable and in great shape for a player that just reported to camp this week. I don't expect him on the field this year, but look out for he and Wilson in the future.
Another guy I love to watch progress is Christian Holmes. Not a freshman, Holmes is playing a new position working out at tight end. Even so, it appears like Holmes has been playing the position his entire life. Turtle, as he's referred to, runs every route hard and looks good as a blocker. He's also not so shabby after the catch as he drove a defender into the ground with a stiff arm during scrimmages. Expect this former linebacker to bring something extra to that already fun tight end position.
Richie Brown had a quietly productive day as he takes no days off on the field. Taking over as the basic captain of the younger players, Brown patrolled the defense calling all the audibles and giving all of the instructions. As a redshirt freshman, there are many things to love about this kid if you're a Bulldog fan. He simply is an intelligent, polite, relentless, defensive machine that will be a fixture for that defense sooner rather than later.
There were three separate turnovers that all went for six points in the scrimmage. Gabe Myles and Tolando Cleveland each ran back picks for six points and freshman defensive end Trent Simpson scooped up a bobbled snap for a TD. Simpson has been quietly impressive for me as well considering he is coming off of an ACL injury. A star baseball player expected to play for John Cohen's Diamond Dawgs, Simpson is a phenomenal athlete and the way he's come back from his injury shows how resilient he is. Watch out for him in the coming years.
Tomorrow concludes the media and public viewings of practice with a single practice set for noon.
Mississippi State NEWS