After spending two years mentoring the outside receivers at Washington State, Steve Spurrier Jr. is returning to a familiar part of the country and to the SEC to join Mike Leach at Mississippi State.
The Bulldogs haven’t formally announced any of Leach’s new assistant coaches, but Steve Spurrier Sr. told Chris Fetters of 247Sports his son would be moving to Starkville as the MSU coach builds his staff. While it’s expected Spurrier Jr. will be coaching wide receivers in some capacity, it isn’t clear if he’ll hold the same position he did in Pullman.
During his two seasons at WSU, Spurrier Jr. coached a group that was as productive as any in the Pac-12 Conference. The Cougars’ “X” and “Z” receivers contributed 426 receptions, 5,145 yards and 48 touchdowns during Spurrier Jr’s time and WSU led the Pac-12 in scoring offense both years, with quarterbacks Gardner Minshew and Anthony Gordon.
In 2019, senior “Z” receivers Easop Winston Jr. and Dezmon Patmon respectively finished sixth and 10th in the conference with 970 and 762 receiving yards, and Winston Jr’s 11 touchdowns tied for second in the league. In 2018, the Cougars’ two leaders in receiving yards both came from the outside positions, with Patmon totaling 816 and Tay Martin chipping in 685, while Martin and Winston Jr. shared the team lead with eight touchdowns apiece.
A move south brings Spurrier Jr. closer to his sons Gavin and Luke, who respectively play football and run track at Duke, and to his daughter Emmaline, a cheerleader at Florida. Spurrier Jr.’s father, a Hall of Fame coach who spent time at Duke, Florida and South Carolina, still resides in Gainesville, Fla.
In more than a few ways, the Cougars will be rebuilding at the outside receiver positions next season. Winston Jr. and Patmon, who split reps this season, leave two vacancies at the “Z” position. On the other side, the Cougars return three “X” receivers in Martin, Rodrick Fisher and Calvin Jackson Jr. Other returning outside receivers include redshirt freshman Donovan Ollie and redshirt sophomore Brandon Gray.
It’s expected that Leach will bring a few more assistant coaches/staff members to Starkville and WSU offensive line coach Mason Miller, running backs coach Eric Mele, strength and conditioning coach Tyson Brown and chief of staff Dave Emerick have all started following Twitter accounts associated with Mississippi State.