Joe Moorhead shares his initial impression of graduate transfer receiver Isaiah Zuber in Mississippi State uniform
While many may want to point at the quarterback competition in Starkville, arguably Mississippi State’s biggest question mark heading into the season remains at receiver. The Bulldogs have not had a receiver finish the season with 500 receiving yards in two seasons but that may soon change thanks to the offseason addition of Isaiah Zuber.
The former standout for Kansas State transferred in as a graduate after catching 127 passes for 1,321 yards and 11 touchdowns in Manhattan. There’s a chance Zuber heads into the season as the team’s new No. 1 target on the perimeter, if he can acclimate to Joe Moorhead’s offense in a hurry.
How is Zuber fitting into the offense one week into camp? So far, so good according to the Mississippi State coach.
“Really well,” Moorhead said on Wednesday. “When you go back and look at his stuff at Kansas State, he played a variety of positions. He played the slot, played the outside positions. More than anything, it’s formations, it’s language, some of the things we do in the pass game, you know, route adjustment oriented, [Receivers] Coach [Michael] Johnson is doing a really good job with those guys and Isaiah is picking it up quickly.”
Despite being new to the offense, Moorhead suggested Zuber would not be pigeonholed into a specific position, that’s not how receivers are trained in Mississippi State’s offense.
“We want to cross-train our receivers like we do our offensive line, where you don’t want to necessarily lock one guy into a position,” the coach added. “With our pass game, it’s about concepts, rather than positions, so it’s not about what is X, Z or H have on this route, it’s am I field No. 1, field No. 2, field No. 3, boundary No. 1 or boundary No. 2? Based on what the formation is, you kinda plug them into those slots. That flexibility allows us to put people where they need to be.”
Based on what they’ve seen in recent seasons from the team’s receivers, Mississippi State should appreciate the fact that Zuber knows how to get open. Check out this practice clip of Zuber in action, courtesy of Tyler Horka of the Clarion-Ledger.
Football is a contact sport, even on the sidelines. I had to stop the video so I didn’t get run over.
(Isaiah Zuber did not catch this, by the way. The DBs looked pretty good in one-on-ones) pic.twitter.com/qWhWQofksR
— Tyler Horka (@tbhorka) August 7, 2019