August 5, 2017 10:10:05 PM
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State freshman running back Kylin Hill was arrested early Thursday morning on reckless driving charges. After Hill practiced with the team Friday morning, MSU coach Dan Mullen didn't provide any indication Hill would receive any further discipline from the program.
"He'll have some legal issues he has to deal with and pay a fine, I think," Mullen said.
According to the Mississippi Highway Patrol, Hill was traveling more than 120 mph on Highway 82. The arrest occurred around 4:40 a.m. The team had Thursday off and returned for practice Friday and Saturday.
The off day was part of MSU's new preseason practice schedule that includes more off days for the players than any other Mullen has used. Mullen said the staff would go through a learning process to see it if liked the staggered nature of camp and the early start. Mullen is unsure if discipline issues like Hill's arrest are a byproduct of it.
"That's out first one, right? We'll see around the country," Mullen said. "We can't make contact with them -- never mind developing players, not just physically on an off day, but being able to develop young people's maturity. We're supposed to be educators. That's what the NCAA wanted to do, so we'll see how that continues to pan out."
Gay impressing Grantham
MSU defensive coordinator Todd Grantham hadn't seen Willie Gay do any football activities in person when he was introduced in February. Still, he knew the incoming freshman linebacker deserved a chance to earn immediate playing time.
The Starkville native's first fall camp under Grantham hasn't disappointed.
"He's here early, he asks good questions," Grantham said. "Sometimes for a young guy, guys are afraid to ask, but he's confident enough in himself and his ability to ask questions -- where do I need to be, why and all that. He picks it all up well. He's a smart player."
Kicking questions continue
Mullen expects the kicking game to have progressed since the spring -- when he voiced his disappointment with the unit -- but he's undecided about who will have the starting roles.
"We haven't put them through a lot," Mullen said. "They practice really hard, but we haven't done much of anything competitive. We'll slowly do that as we move forward."
Logan Cooke, the team's primary punter last season, returns and is focused on more than simple improvement.
"I really want to stay healthy and perform like that all year," Cooke said, referencing his injury that kept him out for the final three games of the regular season a year ago. Kody Schexnayder took his spot in those games and impressed Cooke.
At place kicker, Mullen has asked incoming freshman Tucker Day, highly regarded as a prep punter, to focus on kicking. He still punts in practice at times, and has impressed Cooke in both regards.
"He's a heck of a kicker. He's been jarring field goals and punting well, too," Cooke said. "He kind of has that freshman punting syndrome like I had when I came in where out of five punts, he'll hit two that make you wonder how he can hit a ball that high and the others aren't as good. He has to get that consistency factor down, but that comes with being a freshman."
On Day focusing on kicking, Mullen added, "I think he has bought into that and has taken a very unselfish team-first approach. He has worked really hard at placekicking. That's probably slowed down some of his punting development, but that's OK. He's trying to compete and win the job to be our starting placekicker."
Charles moving around
Cornerback Korey Charles has practiced with the wide receivers in fall camp. Mullen offered little on Charles' future, indicating MSU is still experimenting with the sophomore.
On a similar note, safety Brian Cole is working with the cornerbacks. Coaches have said the move wasn't intended to be permanent.
Follow Dispatch sports writer Brett Hudson on Twitter, @Brett_Hudson
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