August 23, 2010

Wide receiver preview

Last season Mississippi State had no choice but to play plenty of true freshmen at wide receiver due to a lack of depth after switching over to a spread offense under Dan Mullen.

Six Bulldog receivers made their debuts during the 2009 season and the teams has only two scholarship wideouts remaining that were on the roster when Mullen took over the program.

"That's going to help us a lot because you've got some guys that have been in the offense now for two years," said wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator Mark Hudspeth. "Anytime you have a new offense it takes a while to understand all the nuts and bolts of how everything works. They are ahead of where they were last year at this point for sure."

Chad Bumphis led the Bulldogs in receptions a year ago as a true freshman. The 5-foot-10, 195-pounder pulled in 32 passes for 375 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran in another score and totaled 876 all-purpose yards on the year.

Bumphis will be joined at the h-position by fellow sophomore Brandon Heavens and true freshman Jameon Lewis. Heavens hauled in seven catches for 36 yards and rushed nine times for 27 yards in 2009.

"At the h-position Bumphis and Heavens are doing some good things but we've got to be more consistent at that position," Hudspeth said. "I've got a new player there in Jameon Lewis and he's probably of all the wideouts has made the most big plays but to be honest most of his big plays have come against the (third string) defense."

The lone senior among the receiving corps is Leon Berry. The former junior college All-American was used primarily in the return game a year ago but still managed 14 catches for 170 yards.

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