Mississippi State Football Loses Wide Receiver to Transfer Portal

The Bulldogs just saw their first major loss of the spring portal window.
Auburn Tigers linebacker Larry Nixon III (30) breaks up a pass intended for Mississippi State
Auburn Tigers linebacker Larry Nixon III (30) breaks up a pass intended for Mississippi State / Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK

With spring practices winding down across the country, the spring transfer portal window has opened for college football. Mississippi State football will conclude their spring practices on Saturday with the 2024 Maroon and White spring game, and they're already getting news of players looking to go elsewhere.

On Thursday State learned of its first significant portal entry with 2023 starting wide receiver Justin Robinson entering the transfer portal.

Justin Robinson played two seasons at Mississippi State. He joined the program in 2022, Mike Leach's final season in Starkville. In his lone season playing in Leach's Air Raid, Robinson caught 30 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns. He served as the leading backup at "Z-receiver" behind Caleb Ducking.

In the 2023 ReliaQuest Bowl, Justin Robinson had a breakout performance, hauling in seven receptions for 81 yards and a crucial game-tying score on the way to the Bulldogs' emotional 19-10 win over Illinois. Robinson was named the bowl's MVP.

Last season, Robinson moved into a starting role. Unfortunately, he dealt with injuries, and State's 2023 offensive system didn't do many favors for its pass-catchers. Outside of a 6-catch, 91 yard performance against South Carolina, Robison had an underwhelming year and finished the season with 21 catches for 257 yards.

A 4-star recruit out of high school, Justin Robinson began his career at Georgia, playing sparingly in 2021 with two catches for 18 yards and a score. Robinson has the build of a prototypical outside receiver and is capable of hauling in contested catches. We simply didn't see that with much regularity at Mississippi State.

With the loss of Robinson, the expectation is that Jeff Lebby and Mississippi State will be after another wide receiver in the portal. They need to add someone who can play outside, opposite of UTEP-transfer Kelly Akharaiyi. Ideally, whoever they add needs to be an explosive vertical-threat, which fits the mold needed in Lebby's offense.

We'll get a chance to see if some of the younger faces in the wide receiver room are already up to the task of being go-to receivers for State on Saturday.