Who was the best Mississippi State slot receiver of the Dan Mullen era? Here’s our pick.
The All-Mullen team continues. We have added the quarterback, the running back, and the outside receiver. Who is the best slot to play for Dan Mullen at Mississippi State?
Slot receiver is a brutal position to play at times. Routes tend to take a player right into the heart of a defense and leave them helpless at times. Punishment is the reward for being brave enough to catch a pass running right through the middle of the linebackers.
This one was a tough choice, but clearly we had to go with this guy.
Chad Bumphis (2009-2011)
Chad Bumphis arrived in Starkville as the gem of Dan Mullen’s first signing class. Bumphis, a dynamic four-star receiver, had offers from programs all over the nation. The third-best prospect in the state had offers from Alabama, Oklahoma, and Florida. Mullen and Urban Meyer were after the versatile playmaker.
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Once Mullen was hired by Mississippi State, though, the former Florida offensive coordinator sold Bumphis on becoming MSU’s Percy Harvin. Harvin, a first-team All-American for the Gators, excelled in Mullen’s offense. Mullen had visions of Bumphis becoming the same type of player.
Bumphis committed to Mullen and the Bulldogs a few weeks before signing day. The move proved to be great for both Bumphis and the football program.
The former Tupelo star saw the field early and made an impact quickly for Mullen. Bump led the team with 32 receptions during his freshman campaign. He also added 375 yards and four touchdowns, averaging over 11 yards per reception during his debut season.
Similar to how he used Harvin in Gainesville, Mullen used Bumphis in run plays. Bumphis ran the ball six times for 73 yards and a score in the 2009 season. Bumphis also saw time in both the kick return and the punt return game.
He was named to the All-SEC Freshman team for his impactful initial season in Starkville. Bumphis’ role in the offense would only increase as he continued to learn the playbook and adjust to the college game.
As a sophomore, Bumphis saw each of his receiving numbers jump. The slot caught 44 passes for 634 yards and five scores. He averaged over 14 yards per catch and made sure to make a big play every time he touched the ball.
Mullen continued to get his prized recruit the ball in as many ways as he can. Bump carried the football 19 times for 131 yards. While he didn’t find the end zone, he did average seven yards per carry. Bumphis averaged more than 11 yards per touch from scrimmage.
As a junior, his numbers dipped a little bit. Bumphis caught 25 passes, recorded 339 yards, and scored three times. The big-play ability was still there though, as he averaged more than 13 yards per reception. Bump made sure to make an impact in the return game, too. He returned eight punts for 133 yards and a memorable score against Louisiana Tech during his third collegiate season.
In his final season in Starkville, Chad Bumphis made sure to go out with a bang.
The Tupelo product had, by far, his best career season at Mississippi State. He developed into Mullen’s go-to guy in the offense with Tyler Russell throwing missiles.
Bumphis caught a career-high 58 catches for 922 yards and 12 touchdowns. He averaged over 15 yards per reception and showed why he was one of the more unique talents in the Southeastern Conference. The Associated Press selected Bumphis to the All-SEC second-team for his impressive senior season.
By the time Bumphis left Mississippi State, he held school records of 2,270 receiving yards, 24 touchdowns, and 159 receptions. He still has the most career receiving touchdowns by any Bulldog ever.
Chad Bumphis is undoubtedly one of the best to ever play the wide receiver position at Mississippi State University.
*Note: all stats gathered from hailstate.com and sports-reference.com.