Football

Johnson sidelined, Banks and Russell leading the way

Malcolm Johnson sidelined with a non-football injury.

Mississippi State learned sophomore tight end Malcolm Johnson was named to the 2012 Mackey Award watch-list only to announce in the afternoon he would be sidelined for the foreseeable future due to injury.

MSU spokesman, Joe Galbraith, told the media the injury was suffered over the weekend during a non-football related activity. And due to a MSU team policy in regards to injuries no further details were released on the injury.

Last season Johnson caught 11 passes for 206 yards and a pair of touchdowns. In his absence State will turn to sixth year senior Marcus Green who was recently awarded a special year of eligibility.

Russell settles in

Tyler Russell is now the man under center for Mississippi State after waiting the past three seasons for his opportunity to take the reigns.

“This will be a little different for me to actually be named the starter, being able to lead the team and do the things I know I’m capable of doing,” said Russell. “It is going to be fun.”

And while he is enjoying the spotlight he also understands the responsibility placed upon his shoulders to lead this team.

“It starts in the offseason, definitely in the spring, it is just the little things of showing the guys this is how we got here and how we will get to where we want to go,” he said. “It goes from working out to the classroom and doing the right thing on and off the field, being a leader in the community. I think we’ve all done a good job of that.”

State’s starting quarterback has continued to work with the offense this summer saying they have had very efficient workouts, throwing a lot more passes this summer than in years past.

Bank downplays attention

Johnthan Banks is on virtually every watch list a defensive player can be on entering the 2012 season, most notably the Bednarik Award watch list. However, the senior defensive back refuses to let the attention get in the way of achieving his goals.

“I just try to be myself and do the things that got me here and got me the hype, but not listen to it,” said Banks, who has 12 career interceptions. “It is so hard not to listen to it with all the stuff coming at you, I just try to be humble.”

Last season Banks found himself among the best in the SEC with 71 tackles, five interceptions, 14 pass deflections, one interception for a touchdown and one punt return for a score.

“All that stuff isn’t going to determine the type season I’m looking for. This team can be one of the top teams in the country and I’m going to just keep working hard.”

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About Michael Wardlaw

I'm a golf professional turned sports writer who happens to be a sports nut. Oh, I'm also the MSU Beat Reporter for the Starkville Daily News.

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