It's July, which means it's basically football season, right? Well, we're certainly close. With that in mind, the BulldogBlitz.com Senior Spotlight continues today. Every day, until there are none left, we will profile one of Mississippi State's seniors entering their last year in Starkville.
No. 32 Marcus Green, tight end, 6-foot-1, 240 pounds
How did he get here? Green was actually a running back coming out of Kemper County High School, and was considered the second best one in the state, being named to the Clarion Ledger Dandy Dozen list. He rushed 156 times for 1,618 yards (10.4 yards per rush) and 25 touchdowns during his senior season and he also threw five touchdowns. He returned three kickoffs for touchdowns as a junior and he actually made the Mississippi All-Star game in basketball as a junior. The versatile athlete was even named most valuable player on his high school football and basketball teams during both his junior and senior seasons. Green chose Mississippi State over Ole Miss in August of 2006, a member of Sylvester Croom's 2007 signing class.
What did he do in 2010? Well, Green averaged 12 yards per catch in 2010 but only caught three passes. He was knocked out for the season after an ACL injury in MSU's second game, a home tilt with Auburn. Green was expected to be one of the Bulldogs' top receivers and a safety blanket in the middle of the field for quarterback Chris Relf. Dan Mullen expressed early hope that Green could return in 2010, but he never made it back onto the field.
What does he need to do in 2011? Relf is expected to take another step up and become a (somewhat) polished passer in 2011 and Green could go a long way toward making that happen. Green is an underrated and important cog of MSU's offense, as Mullen likes to use athletic tight ends in a variety of ways. 2011 may actually not be Green's senior year, as Mullen says the school will apply for a medical redshirt for Green, which if granted would allow him to play in 2012.
It is those medical issues Green has to get past. A hamstring injury kept Green out of 10 games in 2008, and his previously mentioned ACL injury kept him out of 10 more in 2010, though he played in all 12 games in 2009, catching 27 passes for 306 yards and three touchdowns. If Green stays healthy and produces in 2011, he will be one of MSU's more important players. If he is unable to get fully healthy, or gets injured again, his career legacy could be that of injured potential.
Coach's quote: Scott Sallach, tight ends coach: "He can be a very special player. As he continues to get more comfortable with what is going on, his role will continue to expand. He can create a lot of mismatches with opposing defenses."