The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Defensive backs showing depth in midst of fall camp

As kickoff against the University of Memphis edges closer and closer, the secondary for Mississippi State University football has continued to show flashes of excellence during fall camp.

The Bulldogs have seen familiar faces continue to grind in the Mississippi heat, along with new faces who hope to leave a lasting impression wearing the maroon and white. With their experience and talent, the MSU secondary looks to be the deepest in recent memory.

Talented defensive backs, like Emmanuel Forbes, Decamerion Richardson and Alabama transfer Marcus Banks, bring high energy and a new level of intensity to the Bulldogs secondary during the offseason. 

Along with a solid group of corners, MSU football has seen major improvement at safety during fall camp. Player like Collin Duncan, Jalen Green and West Virginia transfer Jackie Matthews are all establishing their presence by executing big plays against the talented Bulldogs offense. 

With the experience and talent of the Bulldogs at both defensive back and safety, can the MSU secondary become one of the best in the Southeastern Conference this season?

First, let’s take a look at the cornerbacks hitting the gridiron for the Bulldogs this year, starting with arguably one of the best at the position in the SEC.

Entering his junior year at MSU, Forbes continues to be one of the best defensive backs in the conference. Currently, Forbes leads the FBS in interceptions returned for touchdowns, and the veteran has continued to show his talent and experience during fall camp.

Banks and Richardson are two players to look out for this season. Both Banks and Richardson have continued to show off their talent at fall camp by making outstanding plays on the ball. 

The competition between the talented wide receiving corps and defensive back for MSU has been entertaining and competitive. Junior wide receiver Jaden Walley spoke to the media after Monday’s practice about the ongoing competition between the two groups.

“It’s always back and forth and even all the time. There are a lot of guys returning and a lot of guys that have been doing it for a while,” Walley said. 

In recent years, the Bulldogs have seemed to struggle at the safety position. However, MSU’s secondary seemed to dramatically improve there this year. Talented guys like Duncan, Matthews and Green have taken huge strides and are looking impressive in fall camp.

During his time as a Mountaineer, Matthews recorded 47 total tackles, two pass deflections, one sack and one interception. Since transferring to MSU, Matthews’ impact for safety has already started to show during the offseason. 

MSU football returns to one of the most underrated secondaries in the conference this season, and as the Bulldogs get closer and closer to facing off in an anticipated rematch against the Memphis Tigers, the defensive back looks to be clicking on all cylinders.

However, the competition between the wideouts and secondary has not been limited to just players. Coaches and staff on both sides of the ball have been engaging in the competition in hopes of increasing the intensity and competitiveness of both groups.

Wide receiver’s coach Drew Hollingshead discussed the fierce competition between his group and the secondary during fall camp.

“It’s great. I’m probably at fault too because I like to stir it up a little bit. I think it’s good; it sets the competitive nature for practice. You (have) got to find an edge somehow, and I think having guys like Forbes and Decam getting in everybody’s face and our guys getting back and chirping creates a competitive setting. There’s no shortage of really good defensive backs in this conference. They are going to be in our face, and we have to learn to deal with it,” Hollingshead said.

MSU football begins the 2022 campaign on Sept. 3 at Davis Wade Stadium against the Memphis Tigers, kicking off at 6:30 p.m. 

About the Contributor
Dylan Flippo
Dylan Flippo, Former Sports Editor
Dylan Flippo served as the Sports Editor from 2022 to 2023.
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Defensive backs showing depth in midst of fall camp