Another year at the circus that is SEC Media Days. This year for Mississippi State, all talk on the Bulldog offense. Nick Fitzgerald wasn't in attendance today, but still plenty of questions asked as the QB enters his 2nd season in the role.
Martinas Rankin has seen Fitzgerald's progress first hand, the Mendenhall alum also projected as a 1st Round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. "Now he's definitely a leader on the team. He's embracing the leadership role, doing what a quarterback is supposed to do, and that's lead and hold guys accountable."
It sounds like Fitzgerald is comfortable in the leadership position. With Fred Ross gone to the NFL, Fitz will throw a lot more to Donald Gray. The Co-Lin product is expected to pose a huge threat for the Bulldogs this season. Gray says you have to be on point to catch passes from #7.
"He got strong arms, he's powerful. If you take your eye off one inch, it's going to snatch your hands right back, you'll drop the ball, you'll look kinda crazy."
When the topic reached Dan Mullen, it was about comparison to past MSU quarterbacks.
"Nick's a much better athlete than Dak was. He's taller and a little bigger and probably a stronger arm."
Moving to the other side of the ball, State embracing new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. Regardless of the change, Mullen expects the same relentless effort.
"I want to see 11 guys run to the football as hard as they can, play with unbelievable effort on every snap. To do that, you're going to have to play a bunch of different guys. Which a lot of guys aren't comfortable in doing. Because I want fresh guys running hard to the ball all the time. Second, I want to be a very aggressive style of defense. I want to stop the run and be able to put pressure on the quarterback. Those are all things that Todd believes in."
It wouldn't be right if we didn't talk about Mullen's adidas shoe choice.
"These are the new NMD's that I'm wearing today. Honestly, most comfortable sneaker you will ever put on. You gotta have the sock game going on too."
Mississippi State kicks off the season September 2nd vs. Charleston Southern.
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