Position Previews: Getting to know Mississippi State football’s WR room

STARKVILLE — The countdown to this year’s college football season has begun in earnest with just 37 days until Mississippi State football kicks off its season on Sept. 2 against Southeastern Louisiana at Davis Wade Stadium.
The Bulldogs, under first-year head coach Zach Arnett, will open fall camp on Aug. 3 with the team’s first practice taking place on Aug 4.
Until then, The Dispatch will be taking a look at each position group on MSU’s roster, noting who could be the potential starters, backups and impact players to look out for on the gridiron.
MSU’s wide receiver room has many returning faces this fall, but is looking for new position leaders after its top-two leading receivers left the program in Rara Thomas, who transferred to Georgia, and Rufus Harvey, who entered the transfer portal this offseason.
Here is what to know about MSU’s 2023 wideouts.
Justin Robinson, Redshirt Junior
Intangibles: 6-4, 220 pounds, McDonough, Georgia
Robinson made an immediate impact with the Bulldogs after transferring from Georgia before last season. Robinson, who was named the ReliaQuest Bowl MVP, tallied 15 receptions for 165 yards and two touchdowns last year. At 6-foot-4, Robinson is the prototype outside target for MSU’s downfield passing attack this fall.
Lideatrick Griffin, Senior
Intangibles: 5-10, 180 pounds, Philadelphia, Mississippi
Griffin is already garnering top SEC recognition, being named to the conference’s preseason second and third special teams groups as an all-purpose and return specialist. As a receiver, Griffin had a career year in 2022, tallying 449 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 35 catches. He also finished with 613 kick return yards and a touchdown.
Griffin should again be an impact player in both areas this fall for the Bulldogs.
Jaden Walley, Senior
Intangibles: 6-0, 195 pounds, D’Iberville, Mississippi
Walley, a former Freshman All-America, had his worst season statistically of his college career last fall, tallying just 305 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 29 catches. With over 139 career catches and 1,651 total receiving yards, Walley is as dependable of a receiver as MSU has in its room this season.
Zavion Thomas, Sophomore
Intangibles: 5-11, 190 pounds, Woodmere, Louisiana
Thomas could be primed for a big sophomore year after being named a freshman All-American last fall. In 11 games, Thomas tallied just two catches for four yards. Most of his production came in special teams, tallying 187 punt return yards and a touchdown in 11 attempts, while also tallying 95 kick return yards in four attempts.
With the departure of Rufus Harvey to the transfer portal, Thomas may see more action at wideout, but most of his production could again come from the return game.
Freddie Roberson, Redshirt Senior
Intangibles: 6-2, 195 pounds, Seattle, Washington
A transfer from Eastern Washington, Roberson was named to the All-Big Sky Second Team after tallying 45 receptions for 797 yards and seven touchdowns. He finished his EWU career with 141 catches for 2,266 yards and 17 scores.
Jacoby Bellazar, Junior
Intangibles: 5-11, 165 pounds, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
A transfer from Southwest Mississippi Community College, Bellazar was named First-Team All-MACCC first-team after leading his team with 28 receptions, 515 receiving yards and four touchdowns. He also played a role in the return game finishing with 202 yards in seven attempts.
Jordan Mosley, Redshirt Sophomore
Intangibles: 6-0, 190 pounds, Mobile, Alabama
Mosley played in three games for MSU last season after transferring from Northwestern, tallying two receptions for 43 yards.
Mosley again could be seeing minimal playing time this fall with many experienced players ahead of him.
Creed Whittemore, Freshman
Intangibles: 5-11, 185 pounds, Gainesville, Florida
If there was a true freshman that could make an immediate impact in MSU’s offense this fall it is Whittemore. Whittemore is a four-star prospect who made the transition to wideout after playing quarterback in high school and stood out during spring ball in April. Whittemore is a speedster, clocking a 10.85 in the 100-meter dash in high school.
Nakai Poole, Freshman
Intangibles: 6-3, 210 pounds, Norcross, Georgia
A three-star in the 2022 recruiting class, Poole tallied 53 receptions for 803 yards and eight touchdowns during his senior season in high school. He also rushed for five scores on 16 carries.
Grant Evans, Freshman
Intangibles: 6-3, 200 pounds, Lake Charles, Louisiana
Evans is a true freshman in MSU’s wideout room
Kade Kolka, Redshirt Senior
Intangibles: 5-11, 190 pounds, Tallahassee, Florida
Kolka has yet to play for the Bulldogs during his college career.
Justin Frommer is the Mississippi State sports reporter for The Dispatch.

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