August 28, 2008

Wide receivers a premium at State

In years past, Mississippi State has had the misfortune of only having a couple of deep threat wide receivers.

But that is far from the case this season. The Bulldogs have a group of four wideouts that are all capable of starting. Seniors Aubrey Bell, Co-Eric Riley and Jamayel Smith along with junior Brandon McRae consist of one of the strongest receiving corps in recent memory.

"It's a group of four but if you only start two wideouts, only two of them can start," said wide receivers coach Pat Washington. "We've got three seniors and a junior and only two of them can start. It's close. It's not like there is a big distance between first and second. I consider all four of those guys starters but only two can play at one time."

Bell is expected to start as the x-receiver and McRae as the z-receiver for Saturday's opener with Louisiana Tech because of the consistency they have shown this fall.

"The ones that are healthy are doing pretty good," Washington said. "The ones that are able to practice are getting better everyday. The most consistent guys have been Brandon McRae and Aubrey Bell. Co-Eric Riley is also in the mix with those two."

Bell has played in 30 games at MSU and earned 11 starts. He has hauled in 24 passes for 363 yards and one touchdown. Last season he caught 14 balls for 186 yards and score.

McRae played in 13 games last season and earned two starts after transferring in from Morehead State. McRae only caught two passes for 50 yards during his time in Starkville.

Riley played in 12 games a year ago after moving up from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Riley brought in eight balls for 68 yards in 2007.

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