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  Caleb Ducking couldn't help but be nervous when he saw his first game action at Mississippi State. Ducking played just two snaps in the Bulldogs' 2021 season opener against Louisiana Tech, but it was enough to rattle him as he took in the crowd at Davis Wade Stadium. "Walking on the field, you see 60,000 people," Ducking said. "I had to get used to it, just apply the things I learned." Many of those things came from Makai Polk. Now with the Baltimore Ravens, Polk spent just one season in Starkville, but it was enough. Polk left his mark on Ducking and the Bulldogs' other young receivers before declaring for the NFL draft, where he went unselected before signing with the Ravens. "A lot of things I do out here, I learned from him," Ducking said. "Makai taught me a lot of things I know."

Now, it's Ducking's time to replace the man who was Mississippi State's top receiving target last season. Polk caught 105 passes for 1,046 yards and nine touchdowns, providing quarterback Will Rogers with a reliable outside threat. "I miss Makai," MSU outside receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. said Monday. "Makai was a pretty good player. Not many people got to touch him very much. I miss his absolute skill set." Ducking hasn't had a season like Polk's 2021 campaign since high school. The hulking 6-foot-5, 200-pound receiver impressed as a senior at South Delta, totaling 16 touchdowns on just 44 catches in 2017. He racked up 1,708 receiving yards between his junior and senior years. - The Dispatch

rSr/2023 WR Caleb DuckingMississippi State
News Source: The Dispatch

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