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Best of practice: Mississippi

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The second day of practices in preparation for the 26th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-star game is in the books. After a spirited morning workout for the Alabama team, the Mississippi squad had a spirited afternoon practice of their own featuring some trash talking between the defensive line and offensive line.

Top247 defensive end Chris Jones has as much upside as any defensive end in the country. The Under Armour All-American is committed to Mississippi State.

Here is a look at some of this afternoon’s standouts.

Chris Jones, DE, Houston (Miss.)

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Mississippi State turns heads when he walks out for practice and then does more of the same once drills begin and throughout practice. While Jones is raw in terms of technique, especially with the use of his hands and arm extension, he continues to show he has as much upside as any defensive end in the 2013 class. Jones possesses every athletic quality at his size college coaches covet, along with an impressive motor.

Ashton Shumpert, RB, Tupelo (Miss.)

The 6-foot-2, 212-pound Shumpert flashed his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and run with power during Tuesday afternoon’s practice, and today showed his lateral ability bouncing a pair of inside zone runs to the outside after pressing the hole. In two days, Shumpert has shown his ability as an all-around back, but remains a prospect with high upside on either side of the ball.

Darrell Robinson, RB, Noxubee (Miss.)

The 5-foot-10, 190-pound record-breaking running back entered the week the least talked about back in a loaded backfield featuring Shumpert and Mississippi State commitment Kailo Moore, but Robinson continues to impress. Not only does he possesses an ideal running back body type that can carry 215-pounds in time, but he also has shown the feet, ability to play low to high and the vision to be a highly coveted prospect in a couple of years after likely playing on the junior college level.

Tony Conner, S, Batesville (Miss.) South Panola

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Conner practiced with a slight limp today as he continues to work back to 100 percent from an ankle injury that slowed him down during the season. With that said, the five-star prospect still showed up multiple times during the two-hour workout closing and breaking up a pair of passes and high-pointing an interception on a deep ball that was delivered late.

Dylan Bradley, DE, Noxubee (Miss.)

The 6-foot-0, 245-pound lineman turned in another standout practice Tuesday afternoon, as expected. Similar to Alabama DE/LB and Louisville commitment Finesse Middleton, what Bradley lacks in ideal height and frame, he more than makes up for with a relentless motor, tenacious physicality and a love for playing every snap. He talks a lot throughout each practice, and more than backs it up when practice gets physical.

Jake Thomas, T/G, Columbus (Miss.)

The 6-foot-5, 295-pound Thomas is playing right tackle this week, and certainly looked more comfortable on the edge on day two. The Mississippi State commitment who could play either tackle or guard at the next level, is the lone lineman on his team to take on and win a battle against future teammate Chris Jones in a one-on-one situation. Expect Thomas to be a quick learner with the ability to understand terminology and process on the next level.

Notes

- Of the trio of Mississippi State commitments on the offensive line in the game, Kent Flowers (Hallandale, Miss./Simmons) has the best body type and quite possibly the most upside.

- Defensive back Tony Bridges (Hattiesburg, Miss.) continues to flash his ability with the body that can add 10-15-pounds of muscle mass/weight down the line.

- Defensive end Xavier Pegues (Oxford, Miss.) sat out Wednesday afternoon practice with an ankle injury. He was dressed out, but watched from the sideline.

- Mississippi State commitment Kailo Moore (Rosedale, Miss./West Bolivar) also dressed out, but watched Wednesday afternoon practice after a morning practice groin injury.

National analyst Keith Niebuhr contributed to this report.

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