New faces aplenty in Mississippi State receiving corps

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

The opportunity for all those wide receivers Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen signed in his first class just got a little bigger.

Sophomore Delmon Robinson has left the program and asked for his release, The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported Tuesday. Robinson played last season as a true freshman and was one of the few returning receivers with any experience.

In fact, his departure means only one of Mississippi State's top five wide receivers from a year ago is set to return, senior Brandon McRae, and he's coming back from a broken leg suffered in the season finale against Ole Miss.

Redshirt freshman Terrance Davis has also recently left the team and plans to transfer to Tennessee-Chattanooga.

What all this means is that Mississippi State fans had better have their programs with them those first few games if they want to know who's catching passes.

Junior college newcomer Leon Berry won't be completely new. He was on campus for spring practice and earned a spot somewhere in the rotation. He was the leading receiver in the spring game with eight catches for 125 yards.

Redshirt freshman O'Neal Wilder also showed in the spring that he's more than just a track guy playing football. A knee injury kept the 6-5, 190-pound Wilder from being a factor as a true freshman.

And speaking of true freshmen, Chad Bumphis, Dennis Thames, Chris Smith and Brandon Heavens had all better be ready for a crash course in Mullen's spread offense when practice begins for the Bulldogs on Monday.

"If a guy can make a play, we're going to find ways to get him the ball," Mullen said. "He doesn't have to know the entire offense to be proficient in the spread. That's going to help us get some of these freshman wide receivers on the field."

The Mississippi State defensive coaches would also like to have a crack at Thames at safety. But Mullen is inclined to have him start out on offense.

"We're a little more stable at the safety position than we are at the wide receiver position, so we might let him see what he can on offense," Mullen said.