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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Mississippi State
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  SEPT 28 SEC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: K.J. Costello, QB, Mississippi State,...After a record-breaking debut, graduate transfer senior quarterback K.J. Costello was named the Walter Camp FBS National Offensive Player of the Week on Sunday. Costello began his career as a Bulldog by propelling State to a 44-34 win on the road against defending national champion No. 6 LSU. Operating in head coach Mike Leach's air raid offense, he threw for 623 yards, shattering the MSU and SEC single-game passing yards record. His 623 yards also ranks 11th in NCAA history. Costello completed 36 passes on 60 attempts, which were also MSU school records. He matched the program record for passing touchdowns with five. Costello completed 15 passes of 20 yards or more and found 10 different receivers during the game. He kept the offense rolling on third downs, going 7-of-11 passing for 194 yards. He also added three touchdowns, including a 24-yard strike to Osirus Mitchell with 3:39 left in the game that made the score 44-34.

Spreading out the passing attack, Costello led three Bulldogs to career-high receiving days. Mitchell finished with 183 yards and two touchdowns on seven receptions. Kylin Hill and JaVonta Payton both set career highs in catches and yardage. Hill tallied eight receptions for 158 yards and one score, while Payton caught six passes for 122 yards. It was the second time in program history that a trio of Bulldogs eclipsed the century mark in receiving yards, with Joe Morrow (117), De'Runnya Wilson (105) and Fred Ross (102) completing the feat for the first time in the 2014 Orange Bowl vs. Georgia Tech on Dec. 31. - SEC Football


(DS#2 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: SEC Football
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  Graduate senior quarterback K.J. Costello shattered the previous SEC passing record in throwing for 623 yards. Mississippi State also went 8-of-16 on third down and averaged 8.3 yards per play. "There was a point in that game where I felt like if it was third and long every time we would have scored even more points," Leach said. "It seemed like our most effective down was third and long. Forget first and second. Let's just get to third and long." Sure, the Bulldogs only ran for nine yards. But is there even a need to run the ball when the team's starting running back gains 158 yards through the air? Senior RB Kylin Hill was one of three Bulldogs to eclipse 100 receiving yards, too. Senior wide receivers Osirus Mitchell (183) and JaVonta Payton (122) joined him. The scary part? Multiple Mississippi State players said they felt they left too many points out on the field because of turnovers and having to settle for three field goals. Mitchell said the sky is the limit for MSU's offense this season. There might not be a way to quantify that, but he might still be right. - The Clarion Ledger

(DS#2 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: The Clarion Ledger
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  What a difference a week makes. Last week, Mississippi State was on the outside looking in of both major college football polls. The Bulldogs barely received votes in the Associated Press Poll and the Amway Coaches Poll. Now they're ranked in both. A lot changes after beating the No. 5 team in the country - a team that just so happened to be the defending national champion - on its own field. Mississippi State's win over LSU vaulted the Bulldogs to No. 16 in the AP Poll and No. 14 in the Amway Coaches Poll. The Tigers fell to No. 20 and No. 17, respectively. It's the first time Mississippi State has been ranked in the polls since before the Bulldogs' loss to Iowa in the Outback Bowl at the end of the 2018 season. MSU was never ranked in 2019. - The Clarion Ledger

(DS#25 WR) Sr/2021 WR Osirus MitchellMississippi State
News Source: The Clarion Ledger
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  SEPT 26 CFB STARS: K.J. Costello, Mississippi State, passed for an SEC-record 623 yards and had five TD passes to help the Bulldogs knock off sixth-ranked and defending national champion LSU, 44-34. - AP College Football

(DS#2 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: AP College Football
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  New Mississippi State coach Mike Leach put his "Air Raid" offense in the hands of a transfer quarterback who showed up over the summer and the results were like nothing defending national champion LSU or the Southeastern Conference has ever seen. K.J. Costello passed for an SEC record 623 yards and five touchdowns and the Bulldogs knocked off sixth-ranked LSU 44-34. Costello's passing yardage in his first game since moving from Silicon Valley to Starkville, Mississippi, eclipsed the 544 yards Georgia's Eric Zeier had against Southern Mississippi in 1993 to set the conference record. And Costello needed most of it to make up for his two interceptions and two lost fumbles, which helped LSU rally to tie the game at 34 before he engineered two late scoring drives. - AP College Football

(DS#2 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: AP College Football
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  SEP 27 WALTER CAMP NATIONAL FBS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: K.J. COSTELLO, MISSISSIPPI STATE, Graduate Senior, Quarterback, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA/Santa Margarita/Stanford,...K.J. Costello passed for a Southeastern Conference-record 623 yards as Mississippi State defeated sixth-ranked LSU, 44-34, on the road. Costello completed 36-of-60 passes and threw for five touchdowns. His 623 passing yards were the 11th-highest total in FBS history. Notes: K.J. Costello is the third Mississippi State player to win the award since 2004 (and the first offensive honoree), joining former Bulldogs Quinton Culberson (LB, Nov. 5, 2006) and Richie Brown (LB, Oct. 5, 2014). - The Walter Camp Football Foundation

(DS#2 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: The Walter Camp Football Foundation
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  K.J. Costello passed for an SEC record 623 yards and five touchdowns in the Mississippi State debut of coach Mike Leach's "Air Raid" offense, and the Bulldogs knocked off sixth-ranked and defending national champion LSU 44-34 on Saturday. Costello's passing yardage in his first game since transferring from Stanford to Starkville, Mississippi, eclipsed the 544 yards Georgia's Eric Zeier had against Southern Mississippi in 1993 to set the Southeastern Conference record. And Costello needed most of it to make up for his two interceptions and two lost fumbles, which helped LSU rally to tie the game at 34 before he engineered a pair of scoring drives in the final 10 minutes.

LSU became the first defending national champion to lose its opening game since Michigan in 1998 lost at Notre Dame. LSU quarterback Myles Brennan intermittently showed promise in his debut as starter in place of 2019 Heisman Trophy winner and 2020 top NFL draft choice Joe Burrow. But Brennan's 345 yards and three touchdowns passing could not make up for the trouble the Tigers' inexperienced defense had in new coordinator Bo Pelini's scheme. Four of Costello's touchdown passes covered between 24 and 75 yards. The longest came on Kylin Hill's catch and run in which the running back slipped safety Todd Harris' tackle along the sideline to break into the clear. Osirus Mitchell caught touchdown passes of 43 and 24 yards, the second putting the Bulldogs back up by two scores with 3:39 left. Tyrell Shavers caught a 31-yard touchdown pass and Austin Williams had a 9-yard TD catch. - AP College/Mississippi State Football


(DS#2 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: AP College/Mississippi State Football
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  Mississippi State also has a new starting QB. Leach brought in Stanford transfer K.J. Costello, who protrays himself a "football nerd." Costello said he loves watching old game footage from Leach's previous stops at Washington State and Texas Tech. Costello said he watched every former Leach QB from Wahsington State's Gardner Minshew back to Tech's Graham Harrell because he "wanted to see who was the most successful in the system." Costello passed for 6,151 yards and 49 TDs during three seasons at Stanford, including two as starter. - AP College Football

(DS#2 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: AP College Football
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  The summer has proved a learning process for Alabama transfer receiver Tyrell Shavers. Through fall camp's early days, the former top-100 recruit sounded more athletic than talented in talking to coaches and teammates. Yet now heading into MSU's first official game week, Shavers finds his name atop the receiver depth chart. Edging out senior Osirus Mitchell, MSU's leading receiver a season ago, Shavers' listing as the No. 1 "Z" receiver is as much a lesson in persistence as it is simply names on a sheet of paper. Throughout camp, flashes of the Dallas-area product's talent leaked through marketing videos, though one would have to examine the clips like the Zapruder film to draw much from them. That said, should he have found a command of an offense he's only been a part of for mere months, there's reason to believe Shavers can stretch the field athletically in a way MSU desperately lacked a season ago and will be necessitated in Leach's system. "I do think Shavers has been more consistent lately," Leach said. "But you know, we're gonna play with eight receivers and roll them in. So Osirus is right in the thick of it. I mean, it could say 'or,' but I do think Shavers has practiced more consistently lately." - The Dispatch

(DS#35 WR) rJr/2022 WR Tyrell ShaversMississippi State
News Source: The Dispatch
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  The Shrader-copter has spun its way back onto the field. Mississippi State sophomore Garrett Shrader's playing time was in jeopardy from the moment K.J. Costello announced his decision to transfer to MSU from Stanford. True freshman Will Rogers enrolling early and playing well in preseason training camp didn't help Shrader's cause either. But coach Mike Leach has found a way to get Shrader, who started four games at quarterback for Mississippi State last year, back between the white lines - at slot receiver. Shrader infamously launched from the 24 yard line needing to make the 19 against Kansas State last year and was spun around before landing on the 20.

The play earned his teammates' respect. Now he'll have more opportunities for the Bulldogs to be bullish on him with the ball in his hands. Shrader scored two touchdowns in practice last week despite only lining up in the slot for three days. "He's looked impressive," Leach said. "He's got a sense of space and routes. He's tough to bring down. I've been kind of impressed with the way he's looked." Leach has a history of switching players' positions. Danny Amendola and Wes Welker played quarterback and running back, respectively, in high school before becoming two Texas Tech standouts at wide receiver. - The Clarion Ledger


(DS#999 WR) So/2023 WR Garrett ShraderMississippi State
News Source: The Clarion Ledger
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  Like all of his Mississippi State teammates, Charles Cross is a Bulldog. But offensive line coach Mason Miller considers Cross to be a different breed. "He's a like a pit bull," Miller said. "When he gets his hands on you, he doesn't surrender." Cross is much bigger than either of the aforementioned canines. He's much bigger than he was when he arrived at Mississippi State as a five-star true freshman in 2019 too. The 6-5, 290-pound Laurel High School product isn't the same undersized, over-matched player he was a year ago. Cross played in three games during his redshirt season last year. His growth and development mentally and physically has him slated to start at the oh-so-important left tackle position when the 2020 season starts Sept. 26 at No. 6 LSU. "I'm ready for it," Cross said. "I've prepared myself to the best of my ability to do my job at the highest level."

Cross was the No. 1 player in the state of Mississippi in the class of 2019 according to 247Sports. He played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, as well as the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Game. He was named a 2018 Clarion Ledger Dandy Dozen before he participated in either. College football is a different animal, but so is Cross. He's a pit bull, after all. "He has a great motor, and his feet are just as good as the guy who's going to be across from him," Jones said. "Charles has great upside. He's a great player. I'm excited to see him play this year." - The Clarion Ledger


(DS#3 OT) rFr/2024 OT Charles CrossMississippi State
News Source: The Clarion Ledger
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  2021 SENIOR BOWL WATCH LIST: Erroll Thompson, Mississippi State,...Smart, instinctive, hard-hitting senior who is one of the best linebackers in college football...Made 29 straight starts at middle linebacker after assuming the starting role for the final three games of his redshirt freshman season...Owns five double-digit tackle games in his career...Enters his senior season with 217 total tackles, including 18.0 for loss and 6.5 sacks, in 39 games played. - Mississippi State Football

(DS#4 ILB) rSr/2021 ILB Erroll ThompsonMississippi State
News Source: Mississippi State Football
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  2021 SENIOR BOWL WATCH LIST: LaQuinston Sharp, Mississippi State,...Sharp saw action in nine games with five starts in 2019...Drew the start at right guard in the final five games of the season...Helped the Bulldogs finish with 640 yards of total offense at Arkansas (11/2), their most ever in an SEC game and fourth most in any game in school history...Cleared paths for State to log 460 rushing yards, a school record for an SEC game and fourth overall. - Mississippi State Football

(DS#42 OG) Sr/2021 OG LaQuinston SharpMississippi State
News Source: Mississippi State Football
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  2021 SENIOR BOWL WATCH LIST: Dareuan Parker, Mississippi State,...Parker stepped into starting role during 2019 season and made 11 starts at left guard...Will be counted upon at guard...Has played in 36 career games with 11 starts. - Mississippi State Football

(DS#37 OG) rSr/2021 OG Dareuan ParkerMississippi State
News Source: Mississippi State Football
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  2021 SENIOR BOWL WATCH LIST: Osirus Mitchell, Mississippi State,...A big and imposing outside target who is a deep-play threat...A go-to receiver last season as a sophomore...Enters senior year with 60 catches for 908 yards and 10 touchdowns in 35 games played...Recorded at least one catch in 25 of his 35 career games...Opened the 2019 season with a touchdown in each of the first three games, becoming the first MSU player to make a touchdown reception in three straight contests since Chad Bumphis in 2012...Will be a top target for the third straight year in 2020. - Mississippi State Football

(DS#25 WR) Sr/2021 WR Osirus MitchellMississippi State
News Source: Mississippi State Football
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