QB Russell prepares for life as MSU's starter

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) - Tyler Russell's presence at Southeastern Conference media days is one of the most obvious indications that Mississippi State is confident with its new starting quarterback.

Coach Dan Mullen said Wednesday he picked Russell as one of his three representatives because he wants his leaders to "make sure they know what they're getting themselves into."

Russell threw for 1,034 yards and eight touchdowns as a part-time starter last season. This year, the job is his.

From a win-loss standpoint, Mississippi State has been stuck in neutral for a couple seasons.

But Mullen believes he's laid the groundwork to finally push the Bulldogs into the upper echelon of the SEC.

Mississippi State returns 13 starters from last season's team that finished with a 7-6 record and won a second straight bowl game.