April 29, 2012
EAST LANSING - Keith Mumphery took fewer snaps in the Green and White Game than he would have if he had been at full strength, but the bumps and bruises accumulated over 15 spring practices did not prevent the 6-foot-0, 208-pound redshirt sophomore from making a positive impression at Spartan Stadium on Saturday. Bennie Fowler did not play in the spring game. DeAnthony Arnett wore the No. 13 jersey in the second half of the spring game because the Spartans were trying to avoid having two No. 5's on the field at the same time when Johnny Adams checked in on offense.
"I'm just happy Keith (Mumphery) played today," said Michigan State wide receivers coach Terry Samuel. "He probably could have played the entire game if we needed him to. He is a tough kid and he is still getting comfortable with his offense. You can tell from today that he is going to make plays for us next year."
Mumphery finished the spring game with two receptions for 68 yards. The sophomore from Georgia led Michigan State wide receivers in receiving yards. Both of Mumphery's catches set up rare red-zone scoring opportunities for the Green Team.
"He is a super shifty, a super fast guy," said redshirt freshman Connor Cook, who targeted Mumphery six times during the spring game. "I think he is one of the fastest guys on our team, actually. He ran like a 4.3 40. But he is just able to shake dudes, get them off. He can run past them too."
Cook has not thrown to Mumphery as much as he has to guys like John Jakubik and AJ Sims, who were with the redshirt freshman quarterback on Michigan State's scout team offense last fall. But Cook has been impressed with what he has seen from Mumphery during the time the two have worked together this spring.
"He is just so versatile," explained Cook. "He can run the short intermediate pass routes and then he can bring it deep."
The White Team could not take advantage of either explosive play made by Mumphery. Senior kicker Dan Conroy missed a 27-yard field goal attempt four plays after Mumphery's 38-yard reception on a well-executed deep ball from Cook on the first play of the second quarter. The White offense could not take advantage of a 30-yard reception catch that brought the Green offense to the 2-yard line late in fourth quarter.
Mumphery was working against Mylan Hicks on his 38-yard reception in the second quarter. Hick had a strong overall performance in the Green and White Game, but he couldn't prevent Mumphery from getting good separation on his catch. Mumphery's second reception might have resulted in a touchdown if Cook hadn't led him as far as he did on the play.
"The one at the end, I think he fell catching it," Cook said. "But I led a lot on that streak up the sideline and he was able to catch up to it and make a diving catch."
Mumphery enters summer conditioning with a confidence after a productive spring. The sophomore wide out is also aware that a lot of work still needs to be done for him to get ready for an expanded role on offense.
"Assignment-wise I feel like I'm good," said Mumphery. "But I still have a long way to go. I still have to work on my craft each and every day, my technique, getting in and out of breaks, and being a better leader."
Adams and Arnett were both on the field in the No. 5 Jersey for the touchdown catch by AJ Sims. In fact, the two were lined up on the same side of the formation. In a regular-season game, the touchdown pass would have been wiped out by a penalty.
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