Bulldogs could be back on practice field (with Mike Leach) by middle of July

Joel Coleman

It might not be much longer before new Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach can finally oversee his team on the Bulldogs' practice fields.

According to a report from Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger, the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee is expected to approve a plan later this week that sets the stage for a six-week preseason practice schedule that would continue progress towards an on-time kickoff for the 2020 season. The plan would then have to be approved by the D-I council at its next meeting, set for June 17. Read more about the plan from Dellenger's story by CLICKING HERE. Here is a snippet of how Dellenger outlines the proposed plan:

Under the plan, normal “required” summer workouts, which includes coaching interaction, could begin for some as early as July 6. Last month, the NCAA granted schools the ability beginning June 1 to hold on-campus voluntary workouts, which do not include coaching interaction. In required workouts, athletes can spend six hours a week with the strength staff on weight training and conditioning and spend two hours with coaches for film study. The required workouts would lead into what’s being termed as “enhanced” summer training, a two-week stretch constituting the first portion of the proposed six-week preseason practice plan.

In enhanced summer training, athletes are allowed 20 hours a week for activities. That includes eight hours of strength training and film review, an hour walk-through practice each day and an hour of daily team meetings. Enhanced training has been compared to NFL OTAs, but players cannot wear helmets or pads during walk-throughs. However, they can use a football, the plan says. A normal four-week preseason camp would begin after two weeks of enhanced training.

According to Dellenger's reporting – since Mississippi State is set to open up the season on Labor Day weekend – if this plan is indeed approved then the Bulldogs would be allowed to begin required workouts somewhere around July 13, with enhanced training starting around July 24 and full preseason camp around August 7. A final version of the plan could see those dates shifted slightly.

Mississippi State of course didn't get the chance to hold any practices this past spring as a result of the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The team began voluntary workouts on Monday, but it now appears, at long last, the Leach era of Bulldog football isn't far from really starting to crank up.

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