If you are looking for signs of progress from Mike Leach’s Mississippi State program, the easiest thing to do is point toward all the freshmen that played extensively in 2020.

While first-year players Will Rogers, Jo’quavious Marks, Jaden Walley and Dillon Johnson may be the future of the Bulldog program, it would be unwise to overlook the veterans that played key roles for Mississippi State’s offense last season.

With that in mind comes good news from Steve Robertson of Gene’s Page/247 Sports, who is reporting a trio of seniors have recently made their decisions to return for Mississippi State next season.

Robertson is reporting that offensive lineman Scott Lashley, wide receiver JaVonta Payton and offensive guard LaQuinston Sharp are all coming back for the Bulldogs next fall.

This is possible due to the NCAA giving all players the option of using a free season of eligibility in 2020. All seniors that decide to return for the 2021 season will not count against the NCAA’s 85-man scholarship limit.

Considering Mississippi State’s offensive line started to come together late last season, getting back these two veterans could be big for the Bulldogs in 2021. In his first year in Leach’s offense, Payton caught 19 passes for 225 yards and one touchdown.