Sep 7, 2013; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs running back Ashton Shumpert (32) is grabbed by Alcorn State Braves defensive lineman Jamil Johnson (91) at Davis Wade Stadium. The Bulldogs defeated the Braves 51-7. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Is MSU Really that Young?

How many times have you heard, “….but MSU is so young this year”? It seems like we are perpetually young. Our youth is the song that never ends. Let’s see if this is really a valid excuse…

Here’s the criteria I’m going to use for this exercise: how many scholarship players on the team have been out of high school for more than three years? In other words, they could be in the NFL already, they’ve been in college for three full years prior to this football season, etc. This accounts for every senior and all the juniors who were redshirted.

(I am using this criteria because my hypothesis is that MSU is actually not that young, but the lack of seniors – created by not redshirting most of the 2009 class – creates the perception that we are young. And there is no way you should still be “young” if you’ve already been through 3 football seasons since high school.)

2013: 29

2012: 25

2011: 24

2010: 25

I’m just not buying the argument that State is young as an excuse. Is most of our talent young? Sure. But Mullen has been here for five years now and the 2010 and 2011 recruiting classes are his responsibility. Granted, there has been a lot of improvement in that area over the last couple of years so I’m not holding that against him – but we aren’t young.



Tags: Mississippi State Bulldogs

  • Mike Rucker

    I don’t think when people say “we’re young” that they’re literally talking about the age of the players on the team. I think what most people are referring to is the amount of PT that the players on the field have gotten (in previous years) and/or the number of starts. If you look at it from that point of view, I would bet that our guys would be considered “young” compared to previous years’ teams. At the beginning of the year we had a lot of new faces out there playing.

    • The Croom Diaries

      Right. I conceded that in the last paragraph…and then went on to say that since Mullen has been here for 5 years he is responsible for the 2010 & 2011 recruiting classes that were not very good. It’s not that big of a deal, but it’s just not that valid of an excuse for defending our 4-6 record and inability to beat anyone with a pulse.

  • golfdawg11

    During the first game against OSU, the announcers said MSU was the 6th youngest team in FBS. You are putting up numbers without relating them to anything else. I’m not sure where the announcers got their stats, but they were obviously comparing MSU to all other teams. And you take the fact that your starting QB and running back for game 1 has missed most of the season, you add in that MSU lost senior leadership, it makes things difficult. It’s like in basketball, the constant theme under Stansbury was that he makes too many players transfer. Then an astute reader actually did some research that found out that MSU was in the middle of the pack as far as the number of transfers in the SEC. You can’t look at numbers by themselves and make a statement that MSU isn’t “young”. It’s whether we are young as related to the other teams in FBS. In that case, we were about as young as you can get.

  • Jim Trenor

    TSUN beats us in recruiting every year, but look at who has won 4 out of the last 5. Point is, coaching up 2 and 3 stars is sometimes better than recruiting 5 stars.