August 26, 2010

Running backs preview

Mississippi State led the entire Southeastern Conference last season rushing for 2,731 yards averaging 227.6 yards per game on the ground.

But with the graduation of the school's all-time leading rusher in Anthony Dixon, the Bulldogs must answer the question of which back(s) are capable of filling his shoes.

MSU will likely use a committee of tailbacks this season headed up by junior Robert Elliott, junior college transfer Vick Ballard and redshirt freshman LaDarius Perkins.

"With Perkins, Ballard and Elliott that gives us three guys to go to and replace Dixon," said running backs coach Greg Knox. "All three of those guys have had real good camps and all bring a little bit different ability to the table and do certain things a little differently. I think those three will be very efficient for us in this offense."

Elliott, a former four-star recruit and the No. 2 prospect in Mississippi, has bided his time behind Dixon for three-years but should finally get his opportunity to showcase his talents in 2010. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder has appeared in 16 games during his career carrying 62 times for 282 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

"Robert Elliott has done a real good job of grasping the offense and knows what he is doing," said head coach Dan Mullen. "He's developed into potentially being an every single down back for us."

Ballard was brought in during the 2010 class after finishing fourth nationally in rushing in the junior college ranks at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The 5-foot-11, 215-pounder ran for 1,728 yards and 22 touchdowns averaging 144 yards a game.



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