Mississippi State coach Mike Leach confirmed Wednesday that Tyrell Shavers, Tre Lawson and Jamari Stewart are leaving the team as the program's wave of departures continues. In total, seven players have left the program in just the past two weeks, according to 247Sports. That figure does not count star running back Kylin Hill, who .
Leach said on Wednesday's SEC Coaches teleconference that he's heard Hill plans to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft, adding, "we wish him the best." The heavy amount of in-season roster turnover for the Bulldogs comes after Leach suggested earlier this month that a "purge" of "malcontents" could be necessary amid the team's struggles in Leach's first season. Leach added Wednesday that he would "be surprised if we don't lose more."
Mississippi State defeated defending national champion LSU 44-34 in the season's opening week, but the Bulldogs have lost three straight games since and are playing at No. 2 Alabama on Saturday. Graduate transfer quarterback KJ Costello threw for an SEC-record 623 yards in the win over LSU, but Leach's air-raid attack has struggled since. The troubles have sparked a quarterback battle between Costello and freshman Will Rogers, who is the only other scholarship quarterback still on the team.
Following a 24-2 loss at Kentucky on Oct. 10 in which Leach's offense failed to produce any points for the first time in his 19-year head coaching career, he made it clear roster changes could be on the way.
"I think we're going to have to check some of our group and figure out who really wants to play here," Leach said. "Any malcontents, we're going to have to purge a couple of those."
Of the players departing, only Hill and offensive lineman Nick Pendley had offered significant contributions this season. Shavers, Lawson and Stewart were each reserves, as were running back Kareem Walker and quarterbacks Garrett Shrader and Jalen Mayden.