Position Preview: Getting to know Mississippi State football’s DL room

STARKVILLE — The countdown to this year’s college football season has begun in earnest with just 32 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 defensive line brings back two big-play starters from last season in tackles, Nathan Pickering and Jaden Crumedy, who is once again healthy after missing the majority of last year. The Bulldogs will also have to replace Cameron Young, a fourth-round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks. However, a strong returning group should help minimize his departure this fall.
Here is what to know about MSU’s 2023 offensive linemen.
Nathan Pickering, Senior
Intangibles: 6-4, 305, Mount Olive, Mississippi
Pickering has made 22 starts over 39 games, and enters this fall with 80 career tackles, 26 tackles for loss and 11 sacks. Pickering spent the majority of his snaps last season splitting time between MSU’s two interior defensive tackle positions. That is where he will spend most of the 2023 season, too. He does, however, have some ability to move down to nose tackle, and some experience at defensive end.
Jaden Crumedy, Graduate Senior
Intangibles: 6-5, 305 pounds, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Crumedy has appeared in 41 career games at MSU, making 35 starts, though he missed the majority of last season with an arm injury suffered in fall camp. In his career, Crumedy has amassed 84 career tackles, six sacks, one forced fumble and three pass breakups. When healthy last season, Crumedy played the majority of his snaps in the interior defensive line, though he can move to either defensive end positions, too.
De’Monte Russell, Senior
Intangibles: 6-4, 280 pounds, Jackson, Mississippi
Russelll has played in 28 games during his MSU career, making one start. He enters this season with 30 career tackles and one sack. Russell was used all over the field for MSU last year, primarily spending time at defensive tackle, end and some action at VYPER (edge rusher). He is the likely replacement for Tyrus Wheat, who signed with the Dallas Cowboys following the NFL Draft.
Kalvin Dinkins, Redshirt Freshman
Intangibles: 6-2, 305 pounds, Lake, Mississippi
Dinkins did not play last season for the Bulldogs. A former three-star, Dinkins projects to be a rotational body this fall at defensive tackle.
Deonte Anderson, Redshirt Freshman
Intangibles: 6-4, 220 pounds, Jackson, Mississippi
Anderson maintained his redshirt last season after playing in only three games for the Bulldogs, where he was used primarily as an edge rusher with some time also spent at outside linebacker. Needing to add more speed to its defensive line, Anderson could be a pass-rush candidate for MSU this fall.
Jordan Davis, Graduate Senior
Intangibles: 6-4, 275 pounds, Memphis, Tennessee
Davis has played in 20 games over three seasons at MSU, earning two starts during that time. He has tallied 48 career tackles and one forced fumble during his time in Starkville. Davis’ speed had him used primarily as an edge rusher last season for MSU’s defense, both as a defensive end and linebacker-hybrid role, which could be the same this year.
Joseph Head Jr., Freshman
Intangibles: 6-4, 225 pounds, Lexington, Mississippi
Head, a former three-star, is a likely redshirt candidate this fall.
Caleb Bryant, Freshman
Intangibles: 6-3, 265 pounds, Vicksburg, Mississippi
Bryant, a former three-star prospect, is a likely redshirt candidate this season.
Jonathan Davis, Freshman
Intangibles: 6-5, 310 pounds, Monticello, Mississippi
Davis, a former three-star prospect, is a likely redshirt candidate this season.
Gabe Moore, Freshman
Intangibles: 6-4, 275 pounds, Louisville, Mississippi
Moore, a former three-star prospect, is a likely redshirt candidate this season.
Dayvionte Thompson, Freshman
Intangibles: 6-2, 255 pounds, Starke, Florida
Thompson, a former unranked prospect, is a likely redshirt candidate this offseason.
Trevion Williams, Redshirt Freshman
Intangibles: 6-4, 295 pounds, Crystal Springs, Mississippi
Williams maintained his redshirt last season by playing in only three games, primarily at defensive tackle. He could be a rotational body at that position again this fall.
Gavin Nelson, Redshirt Freshman
Intangibles: 6-5, 275 pounds, Birmingham, Alabama
Nelson did not play last season for the Bulldogs and will likely see little playing time, if any, again this fall.
Eric Taylor, Sophomore
Intangibles: 6-4, 290 pounds, Trussville, Alabama
Taylor, a transfer from LSU and Southwest Mississippi Community College, comes to Starkville after recording 28 tackles, three sacks, eight tackles for loss and one forced fumble in two JUCO seasons. He will likely be an interior rotational player this season.
Ty Cooper, Redshirt Sophomore
Intangibles: 6-4, 255 pounds, Louisville, Mississippi
Cooper has played in 11 games in two seasons so far for MSU, including limited time at defensive line in three games last season. He could be used a rotation lineman this fall.

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