Mississippi State football saw some immediate dividends from its 2009 signing class, and as you know by now, that was recognized by the league's coaches when the SEC All-Freshman Team was announced yesterday. Four Bulldogs made the list, and three of them were playing high school ball a year ago: FS Johnthan Banks, WR Chad Bumphis, and DL Fletcher Cox. CB Corey Broomfield, a redshirt freshman, was the other pick.
This would seem to bode well for MSU's future. All are promising young talents, perhaps the most talented being Bumphis, who led State in receiving. He was all set to sign with Florida before its offensive coordinator, Dan Mullen, was hired as State's head coach. So Bumphis changed his mind.
"The things that he's done with the offense over the years, I just figured it'd be a great chance to come here and play," said Bumphis, a Tupelo native. "And then he's bringing the offense I wanted to play in at Florida, it would be right here at home. I figured it was the best opportunity for me."
Bumphis learned a lot this season, such as what he needs to work on most this offseason: route running. And it gave him a world of confidence. "It did a lot for my confidence going into next year and knowing what to expect, and knowing all the things I need to work on this summer."
• BULLDOGS DUMP DePAUL: It looks like the MSU men's basketball team has found a groove. The Bulldogs earned their third consecutive win Thursday night with a 76-45 thumping of Depaul in the SEC/Big East Invitational in Tampa, Fla. So that makes five wins in a row at St. Pete Times Forum for MSU (6-2).
Ravern Johnson scored 14 points and made 4 of 6 from 3-point range. MSU was 12 of 29 from deep, and it's made 28 from 3-point range over the last two games. Jarvis Varnado added 12 points and 14 rebounds.
And speaking of Johnson, Danny Smith of the Columbus Dispatch had a story on him yesterday, focusing on Johnson's effort to improve as a defender.
Up next for MSU is a trip to Anaheim, Calif., to take on UCLA in the Wooden Classic on Saturday (the team landed about 1 a.m. Pacific time). Then it's back home against Wright State on Wednesday.
• ON THE LINKS: Andy Katz of ESPN.com has a Renardo Sidney update. He apparently is having better luck getting Sidney's lawyer, Don Jackson, to talk to him than I am. … Mark Ingram Sr. speaks to CBS. … Florida coach Urban Meyer just lost his longtime defensive coordinator, Charlie Strong, who took the Louisville head post, and now he's lost another assistant. Billy Gonzales has taken an assistant's job at LSU.