By DAVID BRANDT
AP Sports Writer
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - LaDarius Perkins bristles every time he hears he can't be Mississippi State's every-down back.
Generously listed at 5-foot-10 - but more accurately around 5-foot-7 - there's no doubt that Perkins is a little shorter than most premier Southeastern Conference ball carriers. But he insists the 190 pounds he carries on that frame are more than adequate for the job.
The junior from Greenville, Miss., is one of the most important pieces as fourth-year coach Dan Mullen tries to rebuild his offense during spring workouts. The Bulldogs have enjoyed back-to-back winning seasons thanks to a bruising running game led by quarterback Chris Relf and running back Vick Ballard.
But those seniors are gone. Now quarterback Tyler Russell, Perkins and sophomore running back Nick Griffin have to step up quickly.
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