Starkville Daily News

Crumedy returns to MSU’S D-line trying to improve


It wasn't part of the plan initially, but injuries to Jaden Crumedy in 2022 turned out to be a blessing and disguise for the Mississipp­i State defense in 2023.

Crumedy's hope last year was to put together a strong senior season that would get him drafted and playing on the biggest stage this year, but a preseason injury to his wrist changed things. It changed the Bulldogs' defensive line when he was out of action, too.

He missed the first eight games of the season last year and it was apparent that a major part was missing up front. When he returned against Auburn, Crumedy immediatel­y made his presence known with a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. He finished the season with 15 tackles in five games, five tackles for loss and two sacks as MSU closed the season with a 4-1 record in those games with the one loss coming against eventual national champion Georgia.

As the defensive line began to look like itself later in the year, it was no surprise that Crumedy was anchoring the group. It was a great end of the year, but Crumedy wanted more from himself and the Bulldogs, so he announced a return for his final year of eligibilit­y.

“It came down to me feeling like I needed more film,” Crumedy said of his return. “Just to put myself out there some more, I feel like I could make a better future for myself.”

Crumedy is now locked in heading into his final campaign at MSU. He's had a solid career as a defensive tackle on the line and has put up 84 tackles over the year with 12.5 tackles for loss with six sacks in five sea

sons. He's played in 41 games over the course of that time and been a full-time starter since his redshirt freshman year in 2019.

He comes back to Starkville one more year with several others that announced their final year of eligibilit­y would be used at State. Nathaniel Watson, Nathan Pickering, Jett Johnson and Jordan Davis are a few that are back and ready to have one of the crew's best defensive seasons yet.

On top of that, Crumedy and the Bulldog defensive linemen will be doing it with a coaching legend in David Turner. Having recruited or coached the likes of Chris Jones, Fletcher Cox, Jeffrey Simmons, Pernell Mcphee and many others, Turner brings a wealth of experience and a strong resume to the table and Crumedy has been excited to work with him.

“It's been fun and it's been really hard work,” Crumedy said of working with Turner. “He's got a lot of different drills for us to do and a lot of new things that we're putting in. It's been a real fun time getting to learn different things from him.”

There is also a new man in charge of the whole team this year. After the tragic passing of head coach Mike Leach in the preseason, defensive coordinato­r Zach Arnett took the reins for MSU.

Crumedy hasn't noticed much difference with Arnett in charge because he's been used to his style of coaching on the defensive side for the last three years. It's made for an even more focused spring for Crumedy and the defense and he's ready to kick things into a new gear.

“From him moving up, it just feels like how the defense has been already,” Crumedy said. “We have a real hard demeanor to us and are going to keep fighting every day. Everybody was ready for the first day and now ready for the pads to come on.”

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