Bulldog bio: Stephen Guidry

Stephen Guidry

Staff Writer

When new Mississippi State head football coach Joe Moorhead addressed the media on his first signing day as MSU’s leader last December, he was asked which of his new players would make an early impact with the Bulldogs come the 2018 season.

It didn’t take Moorhead all that long to answer the question.

“From an offensive standpoint, just looking at it, obviously Stephen (Guidry) is an older kid,” Moorhead said at the time. “He’s a junior college player and has a lot of experience.”

If it wasn’t clear before, Moorhead’s comments solidified it. MSU is likely to heavily count on Guidry in his first season with the program. The transfer from Hinds Community College joined the Bulldogs as the top-rated junior college receiver in America and at a position that was a weakness for State last year, Guidry has the opportunity to step right in and be a dynamic playmaker for the Bulldogs.

Coveted recruit

Guidry was the No. 1 junior college wide receiver in the country when he inked with MSU.

In fact, he was picked the fourth-best prospect among all 2018 junior college players according to 247Sports.

He had a pair of spectacular seasons at Hinds to earn his stellar reputation. Guidry caught 22 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns in 2017. That followed a freshman season in which he had 30 receptions for 547 yards and five scores.

If MSU gets its way, Guidry will soon be putting up similar, or perhaps even better, numbers in Starkville. Standing 6-foot-4, Guidry gives State a big target to look for in what’s expected to be a Moorhead offense that will take chances down the field.

Slow progress

Guidry’s early days with the Bulldogs have been a bit of a rollercoaster, but things seem to be slowly trending in the right direction.

Offseason shoulder surgery kept Guidry limited during his first spring at MSU. He was held out of the team portion of practice, but did participate in individual drills.

Later in the spring, Guidry took to Twitter and posted he was looking to sit out this fall. However, whatever issues led to that posting appear to have been solved and Moorhead said last week at Southeastern Conference Media Days that he believes Guidry can be a big part of things for the Bulldogs when the season kicks off.

“He’s doing well,” Moorhead said of Guidry. “Stephen is a guy that is certainly very highly-touted coming out of the junior college ranks and in our offensive system and what we do and how we rely on the wide receivers relative to creating explosive plays, he’s a guy that provides a lot of athletic ability, a lot of speed and he can catch the ball down the field.

“So it’s going to be a matter of him continuing to progress and learning the offense and getting into camp coming off the injury and getting those reps on the field as opposed to mental reps.”

Did you know?

Guidry played his high school career at Livonia High in Louisiana.

The school’s football program had never won a state championship until Guidry helped get the Wildcats there. Guidry caught a 4-yard touchdown pass to help lead Livonia to a 43-14 win over Amite to claim the 2014 state title.

Looking ahead

Mississippi State needs a receiver or two to step up big time in 2018.

Last year, the Bulldogs didn’t have a single wide out tally more than Jesse Jackson’s 276 yards receiving.

MSU receivers had trouble creating separation and giving MSU quarterbacks Nick Fitzgerald and Keytaon Thompson good chances to make big plays.

So the opportunity is there for the taking for someone like Guidry to step in and become a huge piece of Moorhead’s offensive scheme. Guidry has already proven he can be the type of playmaker the Bulldogs desire.
However there’s a big difference in performing on the junior college level and doing it on Southeastern Conference Saturdays. It certainly appears though that Guidry is going to get every chance to be one of the answers to
MSU’s receiving woes of a season ago as he could very well step right into a starting role.

(Editor's note: Leading up to the start of Mississippi State football training camp, the Starkville Daily News is taking a look at several of the key pieces for the 2018 Bulldogs.)