Mississippi State and head coach Dan Mullen saw great success in 2014, winning 10-games, playing in the Orange Bowl, being ranked number one in the country for five straight weeks and was the first ever team ranked number-one in the college football playoff.
But, with only seven players listed as starters coming back for 2015 what is left in the Bulldog Cupboard?
We still have a long way to go before we reach kickoff on September 5th down at Southern Miss and while we still have a lot that can happen in recruiting and the offseason, it’s never too early to start looking ahead at who might be your major players in 2015 for Mississippi State.
Over the next few weeks we will look at each position and give you a best guess on who might make an impact and why.
Today we take a look at the defensive backs for the Bulldogs.
Key Losses: Justin Cox, Jay Hughes, Jamerson Love
Returning Roster Players: Will Redmond, Taveze Calhoun, Kendrick Market, Brandon Bryant, Tolando Cleveland, Kivon Coman, Deontay Evans, Jahmere Irvin – Sills, Cedric Jiles, Chris Rayford, Brandon Wells
New Dawgs on the Horizon:
NOTE: These players are tentative until they actually sign on Wednesday February 4, 2015.
Jamal Peters – Bassfield, MS (Bassfield high school)
Maurice Smitherman – Adamsville, AL (Minor high school)
Chris Stamps – Vicksburg, MS (Warren Central high school)
Mark McLaurin – Collins, MS ( Collins high school)
Lost Production: If there was one spot on the Mississippi State football team that was an eye sore in 2014 it was this group. Big play after big play given up was the theme at times for this group, but losing athletes like Cox, Love and Hughes does hurt. With Cox out towards the end of the year, you saw what his athleticism meant to this team by very sub-par safety play by his replacements.
What’s Back: The Bulldogs return three players in Redmond, Market and Calhoun that will be the cornerstone to a very young group. The Bulldogs return ten underclassmen in this group with a lot of promise. The Bulldogs should also get a boost from several of the incoming freshmen, if they can hold on to them.
The Bulldogs tallied 16-interceptions last year and return 68% of that production.
Rising Star: Yes he will be a senior, but Redmond has all the tools to be another Bulldog that will make it to the next level. Redmond has the speed, athleticism and ball skills to be a corner in the NFL and should show that in 2015.
Final Take: This group will be under a fine microscope through spring practice and into the 2015 season and a group that will be expected to play better under now defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. Under Diaz in 2010, his group at Mississippi State performed extremely well, attacking the football in the air and being very aggressive in the secondary.
Look for a return to that style by a very young, deep group in 2015.