The major concerns for Nick Mullens this upcoming season are whether or not he has the supporting cast to put up the same numbers, and whether or not the coaching change will affect his results from last season.
Mullens said he cannot let a day slide if he plans to keep his production at a high level.
“It’s our last one for a lot of the seniors,” Mullens said. “We have a solid senior class. We’ve stuck together through all of it and so to be able to have an opportunity to finish the right way is what we’re focused on.”
The question is not whether Nick Mullens has the talent around him; Nick Mullens has to be the talent. At this point in Nick Mullens’ career, he is a four-year starter who has seen the glory of winning and the pain of defeat – more so than most college quarterbacks.
Being the leader means he has to believe in this new coaching staff, which he seems to have done over the offseason. Mullens can no longer just rely on impact players but must be the impact player.
Although many worry that the new offense will make an impact on him, this past offseason shows it should not be of concern. Mullens has said this new system is “85 percent similar” to the old offensive system under former offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey, who was also his coach back at Spain Park High School in Alabama. Mullens said offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson is very easy to work with, and has ultimately embraced the new offense.
The new offense also will help mitigate the influx of new receivers. This year the use of tight ends is supposed to play a bigger role in the passing game. Junior tight end Julian Allen should easily impact the passing game, giving it a new dynamic.
Along with that, the new set of wide receivers are no slouches, especially former Florida State wide receiver Isaiah Jones. There is also D.J. Thompson, who will look to be the number-one receiver based on of his stats last year.
“We’re like brothers — we do what brothers do,” Mullens said on his relationship with Thompson. “I’m excited to see what he’s going to do. I couldn’t ask for a more dependable receiver.”
Mullens’ current situation is similar to that of former Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch when he was recruited: Each came to a team that was the laughingstock of their conference. Each then turned their team around to become a powerhouse in their respective conferences. Nick Mullens has all the potential this season to bring glory to the Golden Eagles and make himself one of the top quarterbacks going into the next NFL draft.
The biggest concern for Mullens will most likely be the pressure of last year’s success. Mullens has the tools to match last year’s totals all over again and, if not, do better. He only needs to look past all the pressure surrounding this upcoming season and have fun.