5 players who stood out for Mike Leach in Mississippi State football spring game
STARKVILLE – College football spring games are a good time for players to give fans reasons to be optimistic heading into summer workouts and the fall season.
A few Mississippi State players did just that in Saturday's Maroon and White Spring Game at Davis Wade Stadium. The White Team beat the Maroon Team 24-10 during the timed portion of the game. Coach Mike Leach also let quarterbacks further down the depth chart engineer untimed drives.
Here are five Bulldogs who used Saturday as a chance to showcase what they can provide for Leach in his second season at MSU.
Quarterback Jack Abraham
Jack Abraham gave a reminder who is the most experienced quarterback on Mississippi State's roster. The Southern Miss transfer went 23-of-34 for 162 yards and two touchdowns for the White Team.
Abraham looked poised and in control. Sophomore quarterback Will Rogers led four drives that resulted in turnovers for the Maroon Team. Abraham did not lead any drives ending in turnovers.
His touchdown passes were both brilliant back-corner throws in short yardage situations, one to the right side of the field and one to the left. He proved capable of putting touch on deep balls and firing rifles on short ones.
Safety Jalen Green
Welcome to Mississippi State, Jalen Green.
The Texas transfer made his presence known early with two tackles for loss in the first half, the first of which he forced a fumble on and returned to the end zone.
Green looked comfortable roaming the secondary for the White Team, as he should. He played in 30 games with eight starts as a Longhorn. He adds immediate depth and experience.
Linebacker Jett Johnson
Jett Johnson has been at Mississippi State since 2018. He's only appeared in seven games. He has three career tackles. If his showing Saturday is any indication, those numbers will skyrocket in 2021.
Johnson was all over the field for the Maroon Team. He led all tacklers with 10 in the first half. He finished with 16 total. The Tupelo native has good size at 6-foot-2, 235 pounds. He could find his way into the rotation at linebacker after the departure of Erroll Thompson for the NFL Draft.
Wide receiver Geor'quarius Spivey
There are no true tight ends in a Mike Leach offense, but Geor'quarius Spivey might be the closest thing Mississippi State has to one. He looked the part Saturday.
The 6-5, 230-pound Spivey had five catches for 33 yards and a touchdown. The score came on a leaping back-corner high-pointed catch on fourth-and-1 from the 3.
Spivey is a tough target for defenders to cover over the middle. If he can become sure-handed in regular situations and a touchdown threat every time MSU enters the end zone, he could be in for a breakout season.
Running back Dillon Johnson
Jo'quavious Marks and Dillon Johnson split time in the backfield last season. Everything points to them doing the same as sophomores.
Johnson, though, made a case for more snaps Saturday. He had 113 yards from scrimmage on 21 touches. Marks had 67 yards on 15 touches.
Johnson was dynamic for a Maroon Team that struggled offensively. He turned 1-yard runs into 20 and made the most out of nothing on bottled up rushing attempts.