STARKVILLE • Joe Moorhead has a big decision to make this week.
The Mississippi State coach must decide if senior Tommy Stevens will continue on as the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback for Saturday’s game at Tennessee or if true freshman Garrett Shrader will take over those duties.
“We have a starter in mind right now,” Moorhead said. “That doesn’t preclude both from playing either in a separate series or both at the same time. We have a plan for one to start, one to play and possibly for two to play at the same time.”
Health could be a huge determining factor in which signal caller gets the start. Both Stevens and Shrader are both “nicked up” with lower body injuries according to Moorhead but participated fully during Sunday’s practice.
“We kind of have a plan with what we expect to do with both of them healthy,” Moorhead said. “We’ll continue to grind through the week, work that plan and see where we’re at on Friday.”
The other Bulldog who is currently ailing is Collin Duncan. The true freshman safety is dealing with a lower body injury but Moorhead is hopeful to have him available by week’s end.
RECRUITING ROUNDSMoorhead and his coaching staff certainly made the most of last week’s open date from a recruiting standpoint.
The MSU staff collectively visited 101 schools and attended 20 games last Thursday and Friday. Moorhead himself made appearances at 14 schools and took in four games, two of which involved his sons Donovan and Mason – who play for Armstrong Middle School and Starkville High School respectively.
“It was fantastic,” Moorhead said. “In the past two years we’ve really demonstrated how committed we are to recruiting the state of Mississippi, the surrounding states in our footprint and the willingness and ability to go nationally for a player that has a reason to come to Mississippi State.
“The players when we talk to them – either by phone or text – or their coaches and the people we see in schools love the direction that we’re heading and are excited about Mississippi State football.”
ACADEMIC REDSHIRTAlthough Kareem Walker was cleared to begin practicing last week, the junior running back won’t be in the Bulldogs’ backfield this season.
The former Michigan Wolverine must sit out this fall as an academic redshirt and can finish his eligibility on the field in 2020.
“He’s going to work and do a lot of things from a scout team perspective and provide some of that older player leadership,” Moorhead said.
The former No. 1 running back recruit in the country played in five games at Michigan as a redshirt freshman in 2017, rushing 20 times for 68 yards and one touchdown. He had 207 yards and a score on 64 attempts at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas last fall.