Published August 26, 2011 - 9:53am
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In the SEC, we all know about quarterback Chris Relf and running back Vick Ballard as two of the best players in the SEC West. And there is no doubt that these two are two of the biggest leaders on this State team.
But one guy who plays a key piece in this offense is wide receiver Chad Bumphis.
Bumphis is rather unheralded and does not get much publicity, but he is the man at wide receiver for the Bulldogs.
Heading into his junior year, Bumphis is ready for a premier SEC-caliber breakout season as the leader among the receivers. He has been that leader since day one when he stepped on campus as a freshman in Starkville.
There are several different comparisons for Bumphis, but the one sticks out is when he is compared to former Florida great Percy Harvin. Now Harvin had better players around him than Bumphis does, which made him better, but Bumphis has the speed and wiggle that will remind you a little of Harvin in this spread offense.
After all, he does, more or less, play the “Percy Position” for Dan Mullen, and Mullen did orchestrate that Florida offense in beautiful fashion with both Tim Tebow and Harvin.
Bumphis, used much like Harvin, takes jet sweeps and bubble screens and can turn them into rather big plays. He can also go over the middle and make a big catch as well.
In 2009, Bumphis entered school and, right off the bat, he became the man at receiver. It was rather tough for him because there was no leadership around him to show him the ropes. As a freshman, Bumphis had 32 catches for 375 yards and four touchdowns.
In 2010, Bumphis got a little bigger and stronger, and his numbers did improve. He caught 44 passes for 634 yards and five touchdowns. He also carried the football 19 times for 131 yards on the ground.
Relf and Ballard will be the main rushing attack for the offense, and it will be much like last year with respect to ball control. However, this year, I really look for Relf to improve his numbers a year ago in the passing game, and I look for Chad Bumphis to be the go-to guy at receiver.
Bumphis is ready for a breakout-type year in the SEC for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. We will get to see Bumphis line up on opening night against Memphis.