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August 12, 2011Forgive Randy Moulds if he was a little intimidated when he walked on to the football team at Mississippi State last fall.
When your father is the greatest receiver to ever don a Bulldog uniform and you arrive playing the same position he once did the expectations and comparisons are bound to come.
But once Moulds enrolled at MSU he adjusted well to his new surroundings and now entering his redshirt freshman feels comfortable.
"At first there was some pressure because I didn't want to come here and be in the shadow of my dad," Moulds said. "I knew there was going to be a lot of pressure because everybody was going to be expecting a lot out of me. Once I got here, no one was pressuring me to do anything so it was all good."
Moulds' father of course is former MSU and NFL great Eric Moulds. The elder Moulds hauled in 118 passes for 2,022 yards and a school record 17 touchdowns from 1993-95 for the Bulldogs. He was later drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft and spent 12 seasons in the league, made three Pro Bowls and two All-Pro selections.
The younger Moulds hopes to one day reach the level that his father once did and is not overwhelmed by his past success.
"It's not too intimidating," Moulds said. "I'm just trying to make my own name and do my own thing."
In fact, the father and son combination worked together over the summer to improve Moulds game as he enters his second season at State.
"He's helped me a lot," Moulds said. "He came out here this summer and ran routes with all of the receivers and just helped us learn how to run different routes and teaching us different things."
Eric Moulds also aided with the wide recievers at Big Dawg Camp under the lights at Davis Wade Stadium last month along with several other former players.
"It's good because he's trying to get a lot of the old players back," Moulds said. "He's trying to get them to come out and support the players that are here now."
Moulds redshirted his first season at Mississippi State in 2010. The year not only helped him adjust to the speed in the Southeastern Conference but also in his understanding of the offense in general.
"It really helped me a lot because in high school I really didn't play a lot of offense," Moulds said. "I played mostly defense. Learning to run route and play offense was all new to me."
Moulds route from Crestwood High School in Sumter, S.C. to MSU was not exactly direct. When he did not qualify to accept his scholarship offer to Duke, Moulds enrolled at Highland Community College in 2009.
"When I graduated I went to a junior college in Kansas and I didn't really like it too much so I came back home," Moulds said. "I decided to come (to Mississippi State). I was thinking about going to different schools and I was talking to my dad and he said come on to Mississippi State so I just came."
Moulds studied under former receivers coach Mark Hudspeth last season but began working with Angelo Mirando during Gator Bowl preparations. That relationship continued to blossom when Mirando was named the Bulldogs new receivers coach in the offseason.
"It's cool because he knows where we are coming from," Moulds said. "It wasn't too long ago that he was playing himself. He just knows how to relate to somebody our age."
Having spent most of his prep career as a defensive back, Moulds has enjoyed the transition to offense. He also likes the fact MSU might be putting the ball in the air a bit more this season as well.
"It's fun because once you're running the ball and blocking your behind off, you want to catch the ball a little bit and get a little bit of fame yourself," Moulds said.