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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Mississippi State
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  Eighteen Mississippi State players have left the program in some form or fashion since Mike Leach became coach of the Bulldogs in January. Junior wide receiver Powers Warren became the latest to leave Thursday after he reportedly entered the transfer portal. Warren, who played at Minnetonka High School in Minnesota, only appeared in six games at Mississippi State. This was his fourth season. Fifteen of the 18 departed players are gone for good. Only three - safety Marcus Murphy, cornerback Tyler Williams and defensive tackle Nathan Pickering - could come back next season after opting out of the remainder of the 2020 season. - The Dispatch

(DS#999 TE) Jr/2022 TE Powers WarrenMississippi State
News Source: The Dispatch
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  Mississippi State is down another body. Sophomore defensive tackle Nathan Pickering announced Wednesday via Twitter that he would be opting out of the rest of the 2020 campaign, becoming the second player to do so in as many weeks. In five games this season, the Mount Olive native recorded 16 tackles, two sacks and a quarterback hurry. During his inaugural season in Starkville, Pickering was named to the 2019 Southeastern Conference All-Freshman team. With Wednesday's announcement, Pickering joins star running back and Columbus native Kylin Hill and starting safety and West Point product Marcus Murphy as the three Bulldogs to have opted out of the season mid-year. Junior cornerback Tyler Williams and walk-on receiver Taury Dixon also did so prior to the start of the year. - The Dispatch

(DS#999 DT) So/2023 DT Nathan PickeringMississippi State
News Source: The Dispatch
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  Junior safety and West Point native Marcus Murphy announced via Twitter that he will opt out of the rest of the 2020 season. Murphy is now the second MSU player in as many weeks to opt out of the 2020 season, after starting running back and Columbus product Kylin Hill revealed last week that he would be leaving the program in order to prepare for the NFL draft. The Bulldogs have also seen another seven players enter the transfer portal for varying reasons over the last month. Those who have done so include former Alabama transfer Tyrell Shavers and one-time Michigan running back Kareem Walker. - The Dispatch

(DS#18 SS) Jr/2022 SS Marcus MurphyMississippi State
News Source: The Dispatch
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  NOV 9 SEC DEFENSIVE LINE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Marquiss Spencer, DT, Mississippi State,...Made four tackles, including one for loss and registered his first career interception in the fourth quarter (returned it 27 yards)...His TFL and INT came on back to back plays in the fourth quarter just outside the red zone...Picked up 1.0 tackles for loss and leads the team with 6.5 this season...Boasts 21.0 TFLs for his career, which would rank fourth in the SEC among active players entering the weekend. - SEC Football

(DS#9 DT) Sr/2021 DT Marquiss SpencerMississippi State
News Source: SEC Football
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  First-year Mississippi State coach Mike Leach says he tried to inspire his team this week by showing them footage of Hall-of-Fame NFL safety Ed Reed. On some level it must've worked, especially on defense. While quarterback Will Rogers threw for only 226 yards and a touchdown and the Air Raid offense struggled, the Mississippi State defense combined for five turnovers and the team narrowly eked out a 24-17 victory over visiting Vanderbilt on Saturday. "I'm going to give Ed Reed a game ball. I don't know where he is, but I'll figure that out," Leach said. "We need more guys who can play at the intensity and work level of guys like Ed Reed, Jerry Rice. I don't know that we can ever match their work level, but it's a learned skill and it's something we need to work on."

Mississippi State (2-4, 2-4 Southeastern Conference) finally won its first home game under Leach after losing their first two attempts to Arkansas and Texas A&M last month. Vanderbilt (0-5, 0-5) had 478 yards of total offense, more than twice Mississippi State's total, but ultimately couldn't overcome its turnover woes. Due to a crippling mix of COVID-19 infections, injuries and suspensions, the Commodores dressed only 58 scholarship players for the game. The SEC minimum is 53. - AP College Football


(DS#27 QB) Fr/2024 QB Will RogersMississippi State
News Source: AP College Football
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  11/07/20 - Kylin HillSr/2021, Mississippi State, 5-10, 210 (DS#6 RB) + More +

  With his MSU career now officially over, Hill finishes with 2,535 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. During his junior season in 2019, he concluded the year with 1,350 yards - just 41 shy of Anthony Dixon's single-season MSU record - to lead the Southeastern Conference at the end of the regular season. Hill's legacy will also be remembered for his activism during the 2020 offseason. A notable voice in the discussion surrounding the removal of the Confederate battle emblem from the Mississippi state flag, he threatened to sit out the season should it not be changed. Hill was given a key to the city of Columbus in late July. "Mississippi Will always be my home," he wrote Tuesday. "We've made history together both on and off the field, and as we move on to the next level, that will only continue." - The Dispatch

(DS#6 RB) Sr/2021 RB Kylin HillMississippi State
News Source: The Dispatch
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  K.J. Costello had a rough start against Alabama on Saturday. It got much worse for Mississippi State's senior quarterback in the second quarter. All five of the possessions Costello led resulted in three-and-outs. The 15th play of that sequence ended up being Costello's last of the game. Costello escaped the pocket on third down and tried to run for a first down, but Alabama senior linebacker Dylan Moses met him before he got there. Moses' knee struck Costello in the head on the 4-yard scramble. Costello stayed down on the field for a moment. He sat up when trainers arrived but stayed in a seated position for a while longer. The trainers helped him off the field and brought him straight to the locker room. Alabama led 20-0 at the time of Costello's injury. Freshman quarterback Will Rogers replaced him. Costello was 4-of-11 for 16 yards. - The Clarion Ledger

(DS#15 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: The Clarion Ledger
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  An additional three players have left the Mississippi State program during the buildup to its game against Alabama, including a former Crimson Tide wide receiver. Tyrell Shavers, who transferred from Alabama to Mississippi State earlier this year, and reserve defensive linemen Tre Lawson and Jamari Stewart are all no longer with the team, according to head coach Mike Leach. Shavers had nine catches for 107 yards and a touchdown through the Bulldogs' first four games. It's the continuation of a rough past week in Starkville. Star running back Kylin Hill is expected to opt out of the rest of the season. In addition, three players have already entered the transfer portal since last Tuesday and now there are at least three more who will seemingly do so in the near future. It all comes with Mississippi State on a three-game losing streak since its season-opening win over LSU. "I'd surprised if we don't lose more," Leach said."...If you're stunned or nervous, you better brace yourself because we might lose more." - Birmingham News

(DS#999 WR) rJr/2022 WR Tyrell ShaversMississippi State
News Source: Birmingham News
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  The Mississippi State quarterback conundrum remains ongoing. Speaking with the media Monday, head coach Mike Leach revealed that he anticipates Stanford graduate transfer K.J. Costello and freshman Will Rogers will continue sharing No. 1 reps for at least the next few days ahead of MSU's meeting with No. 2 Alabama on Saturday in Tuscaloosa. "I think they're neck and neck," Leach said. "We'll continue to split the reps this week for the first couple of practices." While Costello burst onto the national scene with a Southeastern Conference-record 623 yards passing against then-No. 6 LSU in Week 1, the former Cardinal signal-caller has been inconsistent at best over the past three weeks. In starts against Arkansas, Kentucky and No. 8 Texas A&M, he's completed 66.9 percent of his throws for a meager 644 yards, one touchdown and eight interceptions. Costello was also benched in contests against Kentucky and Texas A&M for his inability to move the MSU offense. - The Dispatch

(DS#15 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: The Dispatch
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  10/28/20 - Kylin HillSr/2021, Mississippi State, 5-10, 210 (DS#6 RB) + More +

  Mississippi State running back and Columbus native Kylin Hill is reportedly planning to leave the team to prepare for the NFL draft. Matt Zenitz of AL.com broke the news Tuesday afternoon Hill will likely opt out of the rest of the 2020 campaign in order to begin preparations for the NFL draft. The Dispatch reached out to Mississippi State over the matter and was told there was no update on Hill's status. A source close to the situation told The Dispatch last week Hill would be suspended for the Texas A&M game, though it was unclear whether the suspension would continue beyond that one contest. Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger reported Tuesday the suspension arose after Hill was involved in an outburst following MSU's loss to Kentucky on Oct. 10. Monday head coach Mike Leach was asked about Hill's status with the team, responding that there was ""No update. He's still unavailable." MSU is set to play No. 2 Alabama Saturday in Tuscaloosa. The Bulldogs have lost three straight contests since opening the season with a win over then-No. 6 LSU in Baton Rouge. - The Dispatch

(DS#6 RB) Sr/2021 RB Kylin HillMississippi State
News Source: The Dispatch
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  The mid-season exodus continues at Mississippi State. After quarterback Garrett Shrader announced his intention to transfer last week, a source confirmed to The Dispatch that junior signal caller Jalen Mayden and redshirt freshman Nick Pendley have entered the transfer portal. Paul Jones of 247Sports first reported the news. Mayden's departure is the most high-profile of the most recent exports. A former four-star recruit in the class of 2018, he was rated the No. 361 recruit in the class and the No. 16 dual-threat quarterback according to the 247Sports Composite. "In Texas he's a great athlete," Mayden's high school coach Red Behrens told The Dispatch over the summer. "And I know y'all have a lot of athletes in Mississippi, but he was a very athletic kid for us and made some great plays with both his legs and his arm." - The Dispatch

(DS#999 QB) rSo/2023 QB Jalen MaydenMississippi State
News Source: The Dispatch
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  10/27/20 - Kylin HillSr/2021, Mississippi State, 5-10, 210 (DS#6 RB) + More +

  Mississippi State will apparently match up against Alabama without arguably its top overall player. Running back Kylin Hill was suspended from the team following the Bulldogs' Week 3 loss to Kentucky and his status hasn't changed as Mississippi State begins its prep for the Crimson Tide. "No update," head coach Mike Leach said Monday. "He's still unavailable." Hill, a first-team All-SEC selection last season, ran for 1,350 yards and 10 touchdowns last year and accounted for 192 scrimmage yards and a touchdown during Mississippi State's Week 1 win over LSU this season. - Birmingham News

(DS#6 RB) Sr/2021 RB Kylin HillMississippi State
News Source: Birmingham News
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  10/27/20 - Kylin HillSr/2021, Mississippi State, 5-10, 210 (DS#6 RB) + More +

  Mississippi State coach Mike Leach said that receiver Tyrell Shavers and defensive ends Tre Lawson and Jamari Stewart are no longer with the program that he has also heard that senior back Kylin Hill plans to opt out for the rest of the season to prepare for the NFL draft. Leach announced the players' departures during Wednesday's Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference. Hill's status has been unclear in recent weeks. He was preseason All-SEC first team selection after rushing for 1,350 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Hill has caught 23 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown in the coach's pass-oriented Air Raid scheme but did not play in a 28-14 home loss to then-No. 11 Texas A&M nearly two weeks ago. Leach has repeatedly said that Hill was unavailable because of personal reasons.

Asked again about Hill during the call, the first-year coach said, "I haven't talked to Kylin, but what I've heard is he is opting out, preparing for the NFL." Hill tied a school single-game mark with 15 receptions in a loss at Kentucky on Oct. 10 and had a career-best 158 yards and a touchdown on eight catches in a season-opening 44-34 win at defending national champion LSU. Hill returned to school after hinting at entering the NFL draft but this spring threatened to boycott the season unless the Mississippi state flag, which included a Confederate emblem, was changed. State legislators retired the polarizing flag after mounting public pressure. - AP College Football


(DS#6 RB) Sr/2021 RB Kylin HillMississippi State
News Source: AP College Football
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  Mississippi State quarterback/wide receiver Garrett Shrader has entered the transfer portal a according to a report from Matt Zenitz of AL.com. Shrader later confirmed the news via an announcement on Twitter. Recruited by the Joe Moorhead regime, Shrader arrived at MSU as a four-star prospect in the class of 2019. As a freshman, the Charlotte native split time with Penn State transfer Tommy Stevens throughout his inaugural campaign in Starkville, completing 88 of 153 passes for 1,170 yards and eight touchdowns. Shrader also added 587 yards and six touchdowns on 113 carries. - The Dispatch

(DS#999 WR) So/2023 WR Garrett ShraderMississippi State
News Source: The Dispatch
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  Amid a whole lot of nothingness after a third consecutive loss, this one, a 28-14 defeat to No. 11 Texas A&M, that sure seems like something. The spark, Leach said, is true freshman quarterback Will Rogers. "That drive that Will had, when you consider the quality of team (Texas) A&M has, that drive Will had was maybe as good as I've had a freshman, especially a true freshman at his age, have before," Leach said. It was a drive that looked a lot like the ones Leach roamed the sidelines for and monitored in Lubbock, Texas and Pullman, Washington. It was a drive quarterbacked by a player who's never started a college game but in that moment looked like someone who has started plenty. Think Graham Harrell. Gardner Minshew. But only for 13 plays and 89 yards. Only for the 32-yard sideline scoring sling to junior wide receiver Malik Heath.

Rogers is nowhere near the player Harrell and Minshew were for Leach in this offense, but he showed flashes that maybe one day he could consistently be just that. He showed quite the spark, after all. "I look at Will as a young guy who has a lot of leadership in him," senior linebacker Erroll Thompson said. "He's a great player. I expect that from him." Rogers was 8-of-10 for 85 yards on the drive. He completed passes to six different receivers. He moved the Mississippi State offense down the field the way it's supposed to go. With quick passes to a variety of targets until ultimately taking the top off the defense with a pass beyond the sticks. Rogers operated the way Harrell and Minshew and so many who have come before him in Leach's Air Raid have in that moment. Not the way senior quarterback K.J. Costello has since he set the SEC passing record with 623 yards against LSU in Week 1. - The Clarion Ledger


(DS#27 QB) Fr/2024 QB Will RogersMississippi State
News Source: The Clarion Ledger
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