It’s safe to say that LaDarius Perkins will anchor the Mississippi State running backs this season.
The senior is coming off a 1,000-yard 2012 season. He also scored eight touchdowns.
“He’s comfortable,” MSU running back coach Greg Knox said. He doesn’t think about anything. He just reacts to what he hears. He knows. When you’re operating like that, when you’re just reacting to what you hear and you never think, you operate at a fast pace. That’s what he’s doing right now. He’s operating very fast because he doesn’t think about his assignment, he just hears it and executes.”
This year, Perkins will be able to come off the field and not leave the coaches worrying about his backup.
The depth at running back for the Bulldogs is well deep. Along with Perkins there is sophomore Derrick Milton, sophomore Josh Robinson and junior Nick Griffin who will get touches out of the backfield.
Perkins is admittedly on a different level than the other tailbacks wearing maroon, but Milton and Robinson are not far behind.
“They’re at a very high level,” Knox said. “They’re a step below Perk. Perkins executes at a very high level. He doesn’t miss protections, he doesn’t miss assignments and he executes at a very high level. Milton and Josh are right below him. When they’re in there, they’re trust. They’re accountable. They know what they’re doing. That’s what you’ve go to do.”
Griffin is coming off his second knee injury of his young college career. He missed the first five games of the 2011 season with a knee injury.
Griffin saw a good amount of playing time last year, but missed the bowl game after another knee injury. He didn’t do much in the spring, so this fall was his first action since last December.
“It’s going pretty smooth,” Griffin said. “I’m just trying to take it one day at a time and do as much as I can.”
There could be a fifth running back, but he will more than likely redshirt. True freshman Ashton Shumpert was one of the most wanted recruits in the state of Mississippi.
Unofficial depth chart
RB – LaDarius Perkins, Sr., Derrick Milton, So., Josh Robinson, So., Nick Griffin, Jr.