The Mississippi State Bulldogs sent a shot across the college football world on Tuesday, signing a former four-star running back out of the transfer portal to bolster the team’s backfield.
First-year head coach Zach Arnett did just that Tuesday, signing former Penn State running back Keyvone Lee to fill out the team’s backfield.
We break from Mississippi sports betting updates to bring you the latest Keyvone Lee transfers news.
Lee ran for over 1,000 yards and six touchdowns from 2020-22 in State College but saw his productivity decline each year under Penn State coach James Franklin.
Now, Lee will be counted on as the every-down back that Arnett and company need, as the Bulldogs look to build on last year’s 9-4 campaign.
Mississippi State will likely need all the help they can get to do that, with oddsmakers at BetMGM Sportsbook listing the Bulldogs at +8000 to win the SEC with a win total over/under of 6.5 for the 2023 campaign.
BetMississippi.com stacked up how Lee could transform the Bulldogs’ offense in the year ahead, as Mississippi State looks to build on the promise of last season in the wake of Mike Leach’s death.
What Keyvone Lee Adds To Mississippi Bulldogs’ Roster
Lee should see a lot more action than any of the Bulldogs' backs from a year ago, now that Leach’s “Air Raid” system is likely to be altered under Arnett.
Mississippi State’s leading rusher a year ago (Jo’quavious Marks) had 582 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground while averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
Lee averaged 4.8 yards per carry as a reserve back for the Nittany Lions but should have the right stuff to up that average with an elevated workload in Starkville.
His pass-catching skills should also come in handy on his new team, with Lee hauling in 30 catches across his first three seasons with Penn State.
Last year, Marks was the leading receiver among Bulldogs running backs, with 288 yards on 48 catches for the year.
Mississippi Bulldogs' Schedule Favors Keyvone Lee Transfer
The nice thing for Lee and company is that the third-year sophomore has over three months to prep for the Bulldogs’ season opener against FCS squad SE Louisiana on Sept. 2.
The other gift for the Bulldogs is that their first three games (against SE Louisiana, Arizona, and LSU) are all at Davis Wade Stadium, meaning newcomers like Lee will have time to acclimate to their new settings before they have to venture into hostile territory for the first time.
We’ll know for sure how much of an impact Lee will have on the Bulldogs in 2023 when we see the team’s roster coming out of summer camp in a few months.
For now, we can assume that transfer portal additions like Lee will see their fair share of playing time in Year 1 of the Arnett era in Starkville.
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