Five newcomers to know on Mississippi State football's 2024 offense

Mississippi State football is breaking in a brand new offense made up of lots of new players. Here's five you should know.
Mississippi State Spring Football Game
Mississippi State Spring Football Game / Justin Ford/GettyImages

There's plenty new for Mississippi State football in 2024. Most notably, they have a new coaching staff led by head coach Jeff Lebby. They also have a largely new roster. That's especially true on the offensive side of the ball, where they've brought in several transfers to run Lebby's wide open attack.

Here's five newcomers to know on the Bulldogs offense...

Quarterback Blake Shapen

Jeff Lebby needed a veteran QB to come in and run his system, and he turned to former Baylor Bear Blake Shapen. Shapen has thrown for 5,574 yards and 36 TDs in his career and led Baylor to a Big 12 title as a true freshman. He's battled injuries, but he has a skillset that suits Lebby's offense well and, when healthy, possesses a high-ceiling.

Wide Receiver Kelly Akharaiyi

To make this offense tick, you need WRs that can stretch the field. That's exactly what Kelly Akharaiyi brings. Last season at UTEP he recorded 1,033 yards and seven TDs at over 21.5 yards per catch. He's a legit deep threat and showed that in the Bulldogs' spring game.

Center Ethan Miner

State lost a lot up front and went heavy in the portal to reload that unit. Their biggest addition was former North Texas center Ethan Miner, the top transfer center in the portal. Miner has a ton of starting experience and played in an offense at UNT that shares lots of similarities to Lebby's. He'll be the anchor for the OL.

Wide Receiver Mario Craver

The Bulldogs signed three 4-star WRs in their 2024 class, and Mario Craver could be an impact player right away. The Birmingham native has elite speed, a trait coveted in this offense. He shined in the spring game, and if that performance was any indication of what's to come, he'll see the field plenty this fall.

Running Back Davon Booth

The theme with MSU's additions to the offense has been explosiveness, and RB Davon Booth is yet another example. The Utah State transfer ran for 805 yards at 6.7 yards last season in the same offense as he'll be playing in at State. Five of his six TDs came from at least 19 yards out. He can turn a three yard gain into a 30 yard gain quickly, and that's a trait State was lacking before bringing him in.