Mississippi State starts spring practice earlier than scheduled

Due to the threat of stormy weather in the Starkville area on Friday, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen has decided to move spring practice up by a day.

Dan MullenICONDan Mullen and the Bulldogs are back on the practice field.

The Bulldogs now begin early preparations for the 2011 season on Thursday afternoon and will not practice on Friday. The Bulldogs will return to the practice field on Saturday.

Mississippi State is coming off a 9-4 campaign, highlighted by its win over Michigan on New Year's Day in the Gator Bowl. Head coach Dan Mullen enters his third season in Starkville with high expectations and the former Florida offensive coordinator has stated that there will be competition across the board for starting jobs, including at quarterback.

However, as long as rising senior Chris Relf continues to improve as a passer, which he did throughout the course of the 2010 campaign, the dual-threat signal-caller should remain under center. Relf capped off last season by going 18 of 23 through the air for 281 yards and four total touchdowns in the romp over the Wolverines.

A few player personnel notes before the Bulldogs hit the practice field...

— Junior offensive lineman Tobias Smith will not practice after undergoing shoulder surgery in January.

— Junior receiver Chad Bumphis is ready to go and will not be limited after missing the Gator Bowl with a collarbone injury.

— Tight end Marcus Green, who partially tore an ACL early in the season, will be limited. Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Curtis Virges and sophomore offensive lineman Sam Watts also will have limited participation.

— James Carmon will remain at left tackle as he tries to win the starting tackle job vacated by future NFL draft pick Derek Sherrod. He moved from defense to offense in December during bowl preparation.

Check back with the NFP later this afternoon for The Coach's Corner podcast, as I had a chance to talk with Mullen on the eve of spring practice's commencement.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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