School has started at Mississippi State, and while the Bulldog football players are learning answers to questions in the classroom, they also have to answer two important questions on the field: Who will play wide receiver, and who will play defensive back?

Both areas lost a first-round NFL draft pick and a host of other starters.

The secondary has seen the most change. Two starters returned, but only one was able to keep his job.

"We've settled on the guys in the secondary," MSU coach Jackie Sherrill said. "And we've had some junior college and high school additions that will help the team."

The most noted addition is Blinn (Texas) College transfer Eric Brown, who beat returning starter Jimmy Lipscomb for the starting strong safety position.

A second juco transfer, Lamon Dumas, was expected to make a similar impact but tore a tendon in his left knee during two-a-days and is lost for the season. There have been no other major injuries.

"Dumas would have fought for a starting spot, but you can't look back," Sherrill said.

Dumas was competing with Izell McGill, the other returning starter, at a cornerback spot. McGill is the starter again, and is backed up by true freshman Tim Nelson of Atlanta.

Sophomore Anthony Derricks came out of spring drills as the starting free safety, but has been moved to the other cornerback spot. He's backed up by Chauncey McGee, who was No. 1 at that position after the spring.

The free safety is Calhoun City native Kendall Roberson. A redshirt freshman, Roberson exited spring as Derricks' backup. The No. 2 free safety is sophomore Eric Daniel.

"I've been very pleased with the overall condition of our defensive team," Sherrill said. "Last Saturday (MSU's first scrimmage) they looked fresher than the offense."

The MSU receivers will be virtual unknowns compared to the publicity Eric Moulds received last year, but offensive coordinator Lynn Amedee says it's a quality group.

Pontotoc's Cameron Floyd, a junior who has played little, will start at flanker, with juco transfer Lamont Woodberry at split end.

"Cameron Floyd has not played a lot here, but he had an exceptional spring and had fine two-a-day practices," Amedee said. "We don't have an outstanding guy like a Moulds. We have six guys who can run, and all have a role to play.

"We have a couple of guys who could end up being in that same (Moulds) class, but they're not there yet. One of those is Lahitia Grant; the other is Lamont Woodberry."

A sophomore, Grant will be Woodberry's backup. He played in all 11 games as a redshirt freshman last year. He had five catches for 145 yards.

Woodberry, a native of Key West, Fla., caught 22 passes for 474 yards and five touchdowns at Itawamba Community College last year.

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