The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Recruiting preview: 2012 class looks to make final push

With college football’s National Signing Day approaching on Feb. 1, recruiting is in full swing for colleges across the country. This is especially true for universities that compete in the football-crazed Southeastern Conference. As a program that competes in the SEC, members of Mississippi State University’s coaching staff have spent the last year working hard to lure top talent to Starkville to ensure  the Bulldogs remain competitive within the rough-and-tumble league.
The SEC passed legislation last year limiting each member institution to signing 25 players to scholarships a year. However, some recruits can enroll early and count back toward the previous year’s signing class. As it currently stands, MSU has 25 commitments, three of which are able to be counted back to last year’s class. This leaves MSU with three or four spots left to fill as signing day approaches. 
This year’s class is heavy on offensive and defensive linemen, with five offensive linemen and seven defensive linemen currently committed. Along the offensive line, junior college transfers Charles Siddoway and Dylan Holley, who both enrolled this semester, are expected to provide a boost to a young offensive line that struggled most of the previous season. High school prospects such as Cole Carter, Justin Senior and Under Armour All-American Devon Desper of Madison Central High School will add more depth.
It is on the defensive line that the Bulldogs have racked up. With star defensive tackle Fletcher Cox heading to the NFL and several other defensive linemen graduating or becoming seniors, it was imperative MSU coaches reload on the defensive line. In getting players such as Denico Autry, scout.com‘s top-rated junior college defensive end, Quay Evans, scout.com’s second-rated high school defensive tackle, the Bulldogs have managed to land two five star prospects on the defensive line. Along with these two standouts, MSU has talented prospects from around the Southeast committed such as Ryan Brown, Nick James, Jordan Washington, Torrey Bell and Nelson Adams.
According to Paul Jones of bulldawgs247.com, this large group of defensive linemen will allow MSU defensive line coach Chris Wilson to continue rotating many guys along the defensive front.
“What it does is build your depth. Coach Wilson always wants to have nine or 10 guys on the defensive line to take in to each season, and he will have that again next year,” Jones said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see Quay Evans and Nick James both get some reps.”
At the skill positions, MSU has signed a bevy of athletes who could play on either side of the ball. Prospects such as Xavier Grindle, Adairus Barnes, Will Redmond, Deonte Evans and several others could wind up playing wide receiver or defensive back. Redmond, who scout.com rates the 19th best cornerback in the nation, is the crown jewel of the group.
In what will surely be thrilling news to anyone who has kept close tabs on the MSU football program under head Coach Dan Mullen, the Bulldogs currently have a kicker/punter committed in Devon Bell from Warren Central High School in Vicksburg, Miss., who regularly kicks the ball into the end zone on kickoffs.
If the current recruits stay committed and the Bulldogs land another talented player or two, Jones believes this class could be comparable to the first class Mullen signed. That 2009 signing class has already seen Cox leave early for the NFL and will see several more players do the same before it is all said and done.
“Depending on if they finish with a couple of top guys like they should, it could be a lot like his first,” Jones said. “If they close with three-or-four star average guys closing out, it could be a top-25 class across the board.”

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Recruiting preview: 2012 class looks to make final push