September 2, 2009

Hutchins ready for Bulldog debut

Most Mississippi State fans cannot wait to see the members of the 2009 signing class to hit the fieild this season.

But there is one signee they would rather not see that often.

The maroon and white faithful are hoping their revamped offense under new head coach Dan Mullen will keep three-star punter Heath Hutchins regulated to the sideline.

MSU tied with Vanderbilt with the most punts in the Southeastern Conference last season with 82 but finished last in net punting yardage averaging only 31.8 yards per punt and finished 109th nationally in that category.

Hutchins led the MACJC this past season with a 46.1-yard average booting a long of 69 yards. The 6-3, 215-pounder punted 42 times for the Indians for 1,933 yards and was named All-State.

Had Hutchins been kicking in the SEC last season, he would have led the league by eight yards.

But this season Hutchins will sacrifice distance for hang time to take advantage of a better coverage unit at State.

"I'm probably going to have a little less average because I'm going to kick it a little higher," Hutchins said. "My goal is not to have any return yards."

The Saltillo, Miss., native maintained a 44-yard average in two seasons at Itawamba Community College and was named an All-American following his sophomore year.

The ever-confident Hutchins admits to being excited and just a little nervous entering his debut at Davis Wade Stadium Saturday against Jackson State.

"I am so excited and I can't wait," Hutchins said. "I can't even sleep at night. I know I'll be nervous in pre game warm-ups and the day of but as soon as I step on the field and catch the ball it all goes away and it just comes natural."

Aside from the obvious things, life at Mississippi State has been different than junior college since he enrolled back in January.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!