All that really matters at this point of preseason is making more progress. Make that, especially at…
MSU Sophomore WR Chad Bumphis
Chad earned Freshman All-Southeastern Conference in 2009 after catching 32 passes for 375 yards. That's not bad for any freshman but Chad expects to be even better this season. "I think I am better this year mostly due to a better understanding of the offense," said Chad. "Last year, I knew the offense but I didn't have it down. The coaches have done a very good job of getting me prepared. Now, I have a completely better feel of it and understand it better. I don't have to think as much. I just go out and play and that is a lot easier on me." He has improved in other ways as well. "I also think that my blocking and my route running has gotten a lot better," said Chad. "I just feel that, overall, I have gotten better at the smaller things." While the things he mentioned have improved his overall game, he has also improved physically. "I honestly think I have gotten quicker and stronger since last year," said Chad. "I know based on my maxs I have gotten a lot stronger. Overall, I think I have become a better athlete. (MSU head strength) Coach (Matt) Balis does a great job with us during the offseason." And another factor that has improved his game is the Mississippi State defense, a defense that will be one of the most aggressive in the nation. And a defense he faces every day in practice. "(Manny Diaz's) defense is making me a lot better because they give so many looks," said Chad. "It's making me think a lot more. The way I run my routes is based on the coverage. At the snap of the ball everybody is rolling around and dropping down. It really makes me think, which is helping me prepare for the season." He provided specific details how it has not only helped him but the other receivers and the quarterbacks as well. "My read is the two safeties," said Chad. "They (may do something at the snap of the ball) and that will change my route right then. I have to think on the run. That is a key as to why we have to have a good connection with the quarterback. When we line up we will have a route, then when we snap the ball we may have a totally different route. We have to see that and the quarterbacks have to see that so that we will be on the same page." Chad Bumphis and the rest of the Bulldogs begin play on September 4th against Memphis. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. with the game being televised nationally on ESPNU. Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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