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.



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