STARKVILLE — This time last year, Robert Elliott had contracted fumble-itis – the disease dreaded by true freshman running backs looking to play immediately.

So he redshirted. And if coach Sylvester Croom’s comments after Thursday’s practice are any indication, it was a redshirt year that has paid dividends.

“He really is practicing well,” Croom said. “He hasn’t put a ball on the ground the entire camp. It’s obvious he concentrated on it all summer. I know he took the ball home with him this summer, so I imagine he walked around Okolona with his ball all summer. You can definitely see the change, because he has not fumbled the ball not once the whole camp so far.”

Elliott was one of the most prized recruits in the Croom era when he signed with State out of Okolona High School in February 2007. The 6-foot, 192-pound Elliott figures to be in the mix for carries at tailback for State this fall, but it’s unclear how much work he’ll get behind All-SEC back Anthony Dixon and experienced backup Christian Ducre.

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