MSU Practice in Full Pads

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Under cloudy skies and relatively cool conditions, Mississippi State's football Bulldogs practiced for roughly two hours Friday afternoon on the MSU practice fields. The workout was the third of 2003 spring drills, but the first in which State donned full gear.

"We got a break on the weather since we were in pads and it wasn't as hot," MSU head coach Jackie Sherrill said.

Sherrill stated that State's defensive troops have progressed more quickly than the offense to this point, mainly due to the offense having a little more to comprehend. He also noted the performances of senior quarterback Kevin Fant (Moss Point, Miss.) as well as running backs Jerious Norwood (Brandon, Miss.) and Nick Turner (Atlanta, Ga.) Friday.

"The defensive players are certainly much ahead of the offense because they don't have as much to learn," Sherrill said. "Offensively, I thought Kevin did better today. Throwing and catching, we were OK overall. We have a long way to go as far as understanding the total offense, but there are guys that made plays. Certainly the two running backs, Nick and Jerious, made some things happen."

Injury-wise, two Bulldogs suffered minor setbacks Friday. Junior tailback Fred Reid (Tampa, Fla.) bruised a shoulder. He missed the second half of practice and could possibly miss 1-2 more days depending on his evaluation Saturday. Junior offensive guard Will Rogers (Fairburn, Ga.) sustained an ankle sprain midway through the day's drills and his immediate practice status will also be determined Saturday.

Offensive tackle Richard Burch (Brandon, Miss.), still rehabilitating an ankle, was limited even moreso in the amount of practice time he saw Friday due to the start of full-contact drills, only participating in non-contact situations. Punter Jared Cook (Columbus, Ga.) saw his first action of the spring after missing the first two sessions due to illness.

State will conclude this week's schedule with another workout in full pads Saturday morning at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field. The Bulldogs will then practice fully clad three times next week before going through the paces of their first of three spring scrimmages next Saturday, March 29.

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