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 starts today. Every day, until there are none left, we will profile one of Mississippi State's seniors entering their last year in Starkville. Going in numerical order, we start with,
#2 Robert Elliott, running back, 6'2", 210 pounds
How did he get here? The Okolona (Miss.) native was one of the most heralded recruits of the Sylvester Croom era. Listed by Rivals.com as the 11th best running back in the country and the second best player in Mississippi regardless of position, Elliott rushed for 1,730 yards on 221 carries, a 7.8-yard per rush average, and 18 touchdowns during his senior season in high school. He chose MSU over Ole Miss, Alabama, Florida State and others.
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What did he do last year? Elliott appeared in all of MSU's 13 games in 2010, and he was the fourth-leading rusher on the team, just after LaDarius Perkins and just ahead of Chad Bumphis. He netted 221 yards on 60 carries, a 3.7 average per carry. He also caught three passes for 14 yards. He did not reach the endzone either by ground or air. He also touched the ball twice on kickoff returns, totaling 45 yards. In special teams work Elliott recorded two tackles.
What does he need to do in 2011? Entering 2010, there may have still been a chance for Elliott to resurrect his legacy. Entering 2011, it is probably too late, as he is buried on the depth chart. Elliott's career began with hype, but it found disappointment in the middle as injuries slowed the beginning of his career and may have been responsible for his lack of productivity and explosiveness over the years.
He won't be a starter in 2011, but he could end his career on a high note by performing well in relief for running backs Vick Ballard and Perkins. If one of them were to be injured for any period of time Elliott may see increased opportunities. Elliott will continue to play special teams, and could make a mark there, as well.
Coach's quote: Greg Knox, running backs coach, 4/22/2011: "Robert had a solid spring. He wasn't flashy, but a guy who feels comfortable in the offense, and he knows what we are doing and is able to execute. We were hoping for a bit more flash this spring, but he still gave us a solid performance."