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August 5, 2011Day two of Mississippi State fall camp began this morning with a markedly different feel. Gone were the storms of Thursday night which brought wind and cloud cover (and eventually rain), which were replaced by clear skies and rising temperatures on Friday morning.
Changing things up on the second day of practice, head coach Dan Mullen split the team into two different groups and the morning session consisted of the starters and the freshmen, while the rest will practice tonight at 7.
Mullen said that with fewer players on the field it is a benefit to both him and his pupils.
"When you split practice like this you get a little more individual attention for guys, especially all these young kids out here," Mullen said. "It's crazy when you have the whole team out here. They get to get a little more individual instruction from the coaches."
One player in particular got much of that individual instruction from Mullen. Dak Prescott is a true freshman quarterback who enrolled back in January and he worked behind senior starter Chris Relf.
Prescott had more good moments than bad and led his team to a touchdown in the two-minute drill at the end of practice.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder looked polished for such a young player, a noticeable advantage to enrolling early, Mullen said.
"He understands what's going on out here on the field," Mullen said. "He can survive and start competing and trying to get more reps."
Prescott and Relf looked great at times and a bit off at others, as there were a number of beautiful, on-the-mark passes, in addition to several overthrows and underthrows.
Mullen did say that the timing between the passers and receivers is improving after summer workouts.
"Yeah, you see some good improvement," Mullen said. "As practice goes right now, guys getting used to the tempo of practice. The receiver speeds are changing from the beginning of practice to the end of practice. I like it. We just got a little more mental focus today. We had a little soft drop in some balls at times, a little lazy with footwork at times, and I think that's too much thinking going on and not enough doing."
Another newcomer, but this one a senior, is linebacker Brandon Maye, the transfer from Clemson.
Maye worked with the third team linebackers in the first practice Thursday night, and Friday morning he worked with the freshmen. Despite being new to the team, Maye was vocal with the youngsters, often giving them instructions.
"It gets him working on a leadership role," Mullen said. "He's playing with some younger kids out there and he's a veteran player so it lets him step up and lead those guys while he's learning. [When] he goes with the older guys, they need to lead him because they know everything that's going on on the field. He's learning, but with his experience he's a lot more advanced than those guys on the field with him. It lets him be more of a leader."
Mullen said that while this group was practicing, the rest were lifting weights with strength coach Matt Balis. The group practicing this morning will have a walkthrough, workout and film session this afternoon and evening.