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

ANALYSIS: Moorhead fills needs on December signing day

Wednesday marked two firsts, the first recruiting class for newly named head coach Joe Moorhead and the first time college football used an early signing period. 

MSU signed 15 players in the early signing period today. The most notable among them are the three four-star wide receivers MSU signed.

Using composite rating, the top recruit in the class is four-star wide receiver Devonta Jason, of Landry-Walker High School in New Orleans. Jason is 6’3” and 195 pounds.

Joining him at the receiver spot is four-star Malik Heath, of Callaway High School in Jackson. Heath, at 6’3”, 205 pounds, is the top rated player in Mississippi.

The player most likely to make an immediate impact is Hinds Community College wide receiver Stephen Guidry, who is the a four-star and the top rated JUCO wide receiver in the country. The New Roads, Louisiana, native is 6’4” and 185 pounds.

Moorhead clearly target a very specific type of receiver, not only to fit his offense but because MSU lacked taller receivers. MSU’s biggest hole last season was having to use tight ends to stretch the field because their starting receivers stood six feet or shorter. Moorhead has repeatedly talked about throwing the ball down the field and with Guidry, Heath and Jason, he now has the outside weapons to take these shots.

MSU also picked up some versatility in three-star player Marcus Murphy. Murphy, at  5’11” and 182 pounds, led West Point High School to a 5-A state title and was the key cog of what many consider one of the best high school teams in Mississippi over the last five years. Murphy is an explosive player who could become a slot receiver or a defensive back at the next level.  

Moorhead also grabbed his first quarterback in Jalen Mayden of Sachse, Texas. Mayden, who is ranked as the 17th best dual threat QB in the country, stands at 6’2” and 215 pounds.

Rounding out the offense, MSU picked up three tight ends in Brad Cumbest, Cameron Gardner and Geor’quarius Spivey. These three are more big-bodied weapons for Moorhead to send down the field. Moorhead depended on his tight ends heavily at Pennsylvania State University.
MSU also picked up Under Armour All-American offensive tackle Kwatrivous Johnson and running back La’damian Webb. Johnson is a monster offensive tackle from Greenwood. He is 6’7” and weighs in at 360 pounds. Moorhead compared Webb to some of the running backs he has coached in the past at PSU and at Fordham.

While the 15 signees lean towards offense, there is still a lot to be excited about on the defensive side of the ball. Jaden Crumedy of Hattiesburg has elite size for the defensive end position as he stands at 6’5” and 233 pounds. The four-star defensive end was also the third ranked player in Mississippi and made 111 tackles his senior season, 28.5 for loss and 14.5 sacks.

MSU also picked up two inside linebackers in Tupelo’s Jett Johnson and JUCO linebacker Sh’Mar Kilby-Lane. Johnson was the leader on Tupelo High School’s defense, making an astounding 147 tackles and 15 for a loss.

Kilby-Lane was not on many fans or experts radar. He was a four-star linebacker who signed with Florida State University out of high school before transferring to Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

The final defensive player is safety Shawn Preston of St. James, Louisiana. Preston finished his senior season with 78 tackles, including 18 for loss.

More:’s official bios on every signee.

Moorhead said MSU has around five or so scholarships left, and six MSU commits did not sign today, so expect either MSU to drop a commit or two or for some transfers to make the numbers work.

There is still the February signing date but MSU locked in most of their class today.

With Moorhead only having a couple weeks to hold the class together and it being a small class, MSU overall grabbed a good group, filling a major need at outside receiver as well picking up some solid players. The class is ranked No. 21 by which is good for a small class at MSU.

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
ANALYSIS: Moorhead fills needs on December signing day