Chris Relf Has Been Good for MSU


Chris Relf came to Mississippi State as a 2-star recruit from Montgomery, Alabama in 2007. His recruiting class included 34 signees, and he was one of four quarterbacks ([Juco transfer] Josh Riddell, Wesley Carroll, and Zach Smith). Riddell got playing time in ’07 but only threw 37 passes before an ACL injury that effectively ended his career. Carroll took over for Riddell as a true freshman and led State to the Liberty Bowl. Zach Smith converted to a defensive back where he played his entire MSU career. Relf redshirted in ’07 behing Carroll and Michael Henig.

Prior to the 2008 season Michael Henig decided not to come back for his senior season and MSU picked up Juco transfer Tyson Lee at quarterback. Sophomore Wesley Carroll began the year the starter but Lee took over and played most of the year. Relf only saw limited action as a red-shirt freshman going 2 of 9 for 13 yards and had -13 yards on 7 rushing attempts. Sylvester Croom, the coach who recruited Relf, was asked to step down after a disappointing 4-8 season. Soon afterwards Carroll left MSU for Florida International, making Relf the #2 quarterback for the 2009 season.

Dan Mullen took over in 2009 and was able to utilize Relf’s strengths as a runner. Although Lee started every game, Relf got at least 2 carries in each game. He ran for 500 yards (41.6 YPG) and was 22 of 41 for 283 yards. His breakout game was the ’09 Egg Bowl when he relieved Lee by rushing for 131 yards and a touchdown and throwing for 2 touchdowns as well in a 41-27 win over #20 Ole Miss. With Tyler Russell red-shirting during the 2009 season and Tyson Lee graduating, Relf was poised to become the starting quarterback in 2010.

As a junior, Chris Relf was able to lead MSU to a 9-4 season and a Gator Bowl victory. He started every game during the season, sharing only limited time with Tyler Russell. He ran for over 100 yards twice (UGA, ARK) and threw for over 200 yards 4 times (Alcorn St., ARK, Ole Miss, Michigan). In the last 3 games of the season (ARK, Ole Miss, Michigan) Chris was 51 of 73 (69.8%) for 793 yards, 6 TDs, 2INTs, and 58 carries for 199 yards and 2 TDs. Relf threw for 1,789 yards in ’10, which was the most passing yardage for any MSU quarterback since Kevin Fant in 2003 (2,151). He also rushed for 713 yards. The 2010 season was the most successful year for MSU since 1999.

Coming into the 2011 season Relf was the unquestioned starter for the Bulldogs. He represented the team at SEC Media Days and was picked to the pre-season all-SEC third team. The year started out with very strong performances against Memphis and Auburn, although he fell inches short in a dramatic finish on the plains. Relf struggles to get anything going over the next four games and was eventually pulled for Tyler Russell at halftime of the UAB game. He spent the next four games playing sparingly including not at all vs. Arkansas after suffering a concussion against Alabama. On Senior Day, coach Mullen rewarded Chris with the start and he performed well going 8 of 13 for 70 yards and 2 touchdowns, rushing for 49 yards and leading MSU to their 3rd straight Egg Bowl victory.

For his career, Relf is 255 of 441 for 3,188 yards, 27 TDs and 16 INTs. He has rushed for over 1,500 yards. He has passed for more yards in his career than any MSU QB since Kevin Fant (5,631). As a starting quarterback he is 13-8 (.619), the best winning percentage since Wayne Madkin (.650). Since he arrived on campus in 2007, MSU has made it to 3 bowl games (’07, ’10, ’11), the only other times in MSU history a player could say they went to three bowl games was ’91, ’92, ’94 and ’98, ’99, ’00. Chris Relf has been a great player for Mississippi State and he has been the centerpiece that has allowed Dan Mullen to rebuild the program. He has led MSU to 3 straight Egg Bowl victories and has been a key player throughout the 16 straight sellouts of Davis-Wade Stadium. Congratulations to Chris Relf on a great career at MSU.