Mississippi Practice Impressions

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - After watching some of the best in Mississippi get after it on Wednesday, some could see some movement in their ranking on Scout.

There was a lot of coaching going on Wednesday as Mississippi prepares for Alabama in this All-Star Classic, but there was some popping going on too.

Scout was on hand and here are some of the prospects that stood out:

  • Chris Jones is the no. 19 ranked defensive end in the country and that is too low. Jones was practically unknown until late in the summer and Mississippi State did a great job of identifying this one, offering him, and wrapping his recruitment up early.

    The 6-foot-6, 255 pound end is what schools are looking for in a big end that can get after the quarterback. He really gets off the ball quick, he has great reaction time, he has great length, he closes on the ball well, he has a high motor, and he has so much upside.

    His ceiling is extremely high. He was so dominant and he just made things look so easy on Wednesday. He has the frame to add significant weight, he is going to get so much stronger, and he has so much to learn in the technique department. He does not even really use his hands yet, but he knows how to fire off the ball, dip that shoulder, get skinny when needs to bypass blockers, and to find that football.

    It will be fun to watch Jones in the Under Armour All-America game in a few weeks, but expect a change in his ranking before then.

  • On the offensive line, Kent Flowers really stood out. The 6-foot-5, 300 pound true offensive tackle carries his weight very well, he is a natural bender, he has good feet, and he has long arms.

    He really did a nice job Wednesday of starting out low, getting off the ball low, and driving the defender off the ball.

    Flowers still has plenty of room to develop and he needs to work on holding his blocks longer and moving his feet more consistent in pass protection, but he has a lot of raw ability, and he could be the top offensive lineman in the state.

    He is a Mississippi State commitment.

  • Chris Jones was not the only Jones who stood out on Wednesday at the Mississippi practice.

    Derrick Jones did too.

    The 6-foot-2, 180 pound wide receiver out of Eupora that is committed to Ole Miss had a strong practice. He is not a receiver that blows you away with his speed, but he was very consistent catching the football, getting open, and he showed he could track the ball well, and go up and get it in traffic.

    He probably a 4.6 second guy in the 40 and he can improve on his quickness off the line, but when he gets into his route, he is fluid and he makes the catch.

  • One of the biggest talkers on the Mississippi team is Dylan Bradley. He is listed as a 6-foot, 250 pound defensive tackle on Scout, and both of those may be a little generous, but he is a solid football player.

    He knows how to use that size to his advantage and he doesn't lack confidence.

    Bradley got in there and scrapped with the big guys and he was in on numerous plays. He is able to get into the gaps quickly and either make a play or re-direct the running to someone else.

    Memphis is the school pursuing him the most at this time and it may be a stretch to see one of the in-state SEC schools to offer him, but Southern Miss may not be out of the question.

    The Noxubee County star is holding his own and making a lot of noise on the practice field this week.

    Look for him to be rated by Scout in the near future.

  • It was fun to watch running back Ashton Shumpert do his thing at practice. He is listed at 6-feet, 2-inches tall and he may not be quite that tall, but he is a solid 6-foot-1, and he is right around 210 pounds.

    He knows how to use that size to his advantage. He really ran hard on Wednesday and he would use that jump step to bounce it outside or he was hit the hole hard and fast inside the tackles. He was impressive doing both.

    His pad level was good, he showed he could be a receiver out of the backfield, and he showed a little more quickness to the hole and to the edge than expected.

    He is currently ranked as the no. 12 safety in the country on Scout, but that ranking may need to be adjusted. Shumpert could be slotted as a running back in the high teens to low twenties.

    Shumpert was the second most impressive performer on Wednesday behind Chris Jones.

    It will likely come down to Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

  • Mississippi State commitments Deon Mix and Jake Thomas may both end up as guards on the next level.

    Mix played tackle at South Panola and he has mixed it up this week at practice, but he is ranked as a guard by Scout and he will end up there. He still needs to work on his footwork and the re-shaping of his body. He will need a redshirt year, some time in the weight room, and some coaching before he is ready to contribute on the SEC level. He has good length and you see the toughness at times, so his ranking seems to be about right.

    Thomas could be a possibility at right tackle if needed, but he looks like he may have the higher ceiling as an interior OL. He could be a pulling guard and a guy that gets out in front of running backs on screens. He looked to be the most advanced of the offensive linemen there when talking technique, and he has good pad level, but he feet may not be quick enough for those explosive pass rushers he will need to hold off on the next level. He is a prospect that could play inside or outside, but after watching practice on Wednesday and comparing tape, he could be the no. 2 OL in the state behind Flowers. That is something that will be examined.

  • Tony Bridges created a lot of buzz at defensive back. He has great size and he was seen making quite a few plays, but the 6-foot athlete out of Hattiesburg is likely headed the Junior College route. He is one that you may be hearing a lot about in two years, so remember the name.

    Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.
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