OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - If only the offseason went as fast as Ocean Springs did during a two-minute drill Thursday.
Junior Malcolm Magee takes control under center this season for the Greyhounds, who were unfortunately also quick to move out of the postseason a year ago following a first-round exit against Oak Grove.
"[Magee] has a great arm," senior left tackle Thaddeus King said. "He can chunk it, and with accuracy, too. If you get him rolling, that man's going to hurt some people."
King, a.k.a. Big Thad will be in charge of protecting the blind side of Magee, who is a more versatile option compared to last year's starter Drew Windham.
King and Mississippi State commit -- senior wide receiver Austin Williams -- are the only two returning offensive starters. On Friday, they'll face a Brandon Bulldogs team that brings back eight of 11 defensive starters and is rated No. 1 among 6A teams in the state.
"It's challenging but honestly we're hyped about it to go up against the number one team in the state," Williams said. "It's going to be challenging but it's what we want."
Questions loom offensively for Ocean Springs, and they'll also try to keep it simple while solving their identity on defense. Williams and Magee will both play in the secondary for sixth-year head coach Ryan Ross.
"I'm hoping that the LB core will come through and be the dark horse, but they're going to have to learn it fast," Ross said. "They haven't played much over there. I'm hoping that's who it is so they can keep us in some ballgames."
Kicker Brad Wall helped the Greyhounds in the field position game the past few years, but he's now a walk-on at Mississippi State. Just hours away from the opening kickoff Friday night, Ross is still deciding the winner of the kicker battle between senior Ethan Utterback and junior Ashton Garner.
"Depending on the situation and what we want, both of those guys have different strengths," Ross said. "One can kick it into the endzone, the other can put it high where we need it to be."
"[The] state championship is the big goal," King said. "Step-by-step we want to win each game, evaluate how you play and get better."