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Three more Bulldogs leaving Mississippi State football program

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Brace yourselves, Bulldog fans.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State head football coach Mike Leach confirmed on Wednesday that three more Bulldogs are leaving the program.

Junior wide receiver Tyrell Shavers, junior defensive end Tre Lawson and freshman defensive end Jamari Stewart are leaving the team. In total, seven players have left the program in the past two weeks, including six in the past 48 hours.

Shavers, a graduate transfer from Alabama, is the only one of the three who has made any significant impact this season. He had two catches for 68 yards and a touchdown in the first game at LSU. He then had three catches for 21 yards against Arkansas and four more catches for 18 yards against Kentucky. He did not record a catch against Texas A&M. He will have two years of eligibility at his new school.

Lawson signed to Florida State out of high school, but he redshirted in his one year at FSU before transferring to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder recorded 41 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks last season. He had played in three games this season for the Bulldogs, making just one tackle against Texas A&M in MSU’s last game. He will also have two years of eligibility.

Stewart, a 6-foot-4, 200-pounder, was a three-star prospect out of St. Lucie West Centennial High School in Florida. He recorded 61 tackles, 24.0 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks as a senior there. He did not appear in a game for the Bulldogs.

The trio joins sophomore quarterback/wide receiver Garrett Shrader, redshirt sophomore quarterback Jalen Mayden, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Nick Pendley and redshirt senior running back Kareem Walker as departures.

The status of All-SEC running back Kylin Hill is in question, too. Reports on Tuesday were that Hill was not expected to play the remainder of the season and instead would be focusing on the 2021 NFL Draft. Hill, however, refuted those reports.

“I haven’t talked to him,” Leach said of Hill. “Heard he opted out and we wish him the best. We’ll just try and focus on the guys that are on the team.”

For those that are worried that this is just the beginning, your worries may be a reality.

“I’d be surprised if we don’t lose more,” Leach said. “If you’re stunned or nervous, you better brace yourself. We might lose more.”

Leach also hinted that the players who have left might not have been a good fit for the culture he is trying to establish. He said that a coaching staff has to think of the team as one unified group rather than as a series of individuals.

“Every time that I’ve been involved with a new program, there’s been a certain amount of turnover,” Leach said. ”We need guys to buy in to what we’re doing. You need guys to buy in, and you need the guys who are going to work really hard and play really hard and do it the right way. Coming in you have certain rules and expectations that you expect to be followed. Either they abide by them or they don’t make adjustments.”