Big Dawg: Wrap Up Notebook

Mississippi State held their Big Dawg camp last Friday and several of the Bulldogs' top targets for the 2014 signing class were in attendance. Nearly all of the Bulldogs' verbal commitments made the trip to Starkville for what in many respects was the first team meeting for them.

Any time a school can get its' top available targets on campus it's a good time.

The Big Dawg camp serves as an evaluation tool for coaches and a chance to have priority targets get to know players that are attending Mississippi State in hopes of building some bonds.

With that in mind, let's take a look at what we learned during Big Dawg camp and in the days after


#1. Keith Holcombe commits:


While it wasn't a total surprise, Tuscaloosa, Alabama linebacker Keith Holcombe closed out his recruitment by offering his verbal commitment to Coach Dan Mullen during his time on campus.

Holcombe then went out and put together a tremendous camp showing that turned the heads of most onlookers. The Alabama native made a tremendous play on an interception that resulted in his fellow linebackers swarming him after the play.


#2. Aeris Williams shows up and shows out:


West Point star Aeris Williams was one of the superstars of the night. Williams lined up all over the field and showed that he has the versatility to help a college program in a number of capacities.

Williams plans to announce his decision next Wednesday. Florida State, Mississippi State and Wisconsin are the finalists and the recent chatter suggests that the Bulldogs are in good shape.


#3. Jesse Jackson not quite ready


Petal wide receiver Jesse Jackson was getting bombarded with recruiting talk from Mississippi State commitments during the camp and Jackson had discussed the possibility of making the call earlier in the week.

Jackson admits to being tempted to offer his commitment to Mississippi State last Friday, but he stopped short of pulling the trigger.

While Jackson is not a Bulldog just yet, he continues to openly acknowledge Mississippi State as his top school.


#4. Seeing Green


Greenville-Weston linebacker Gerri Green made yet another visit to Starkville, his third in the past five weeks.

Green showed once again that his blend of size and speed is tough to find. The four star linebacker put together a solid showing in camp and excelled in both drills and the one-on-ones.

Green also spent a lot of time around the newest Bulldog pledge LB Keith Holcombe who has now joined the efforts to land Green in Starkville.


#5. Committing Cousins?


Alabama pledge Bo Scarborough and Florida verbal Cyontai Lewis both worked out at Big Dawg camp marking their second Mississippi State camp appearance in two years.

Lewis said openly at Big Dawg that he was still open to being recruited by other programs despite his commitment to Florida.

Scarborough was a little more guarded with his commentary, but he has been in touch with Mississippi State pledge Jamoral Graham in the days following Big Dawg camp.

Scarborough and Lewis are cousins who have entertained the idea of playing together on the next level.


#6. But he only has one offer......


Byhalia cornerback Chris Rayford put on an absolute show at Big Dawg camp drawing the respect and admiration of his peers and fellow commitments.

Rayford turned in another sub 4.5 40 yard dash and made some sparkling plays in the one-on-ones.

Mississippi State cornerbacks coach Deshea Townsend spent a lot of time mentoring the rising senior. Townsend had a hard time holding back a grin as Rayford undercut a post route to pick off a pass that the offense was already calling a touchdown.


#7. Georgia Peaches


Mississippi State currently has five verbal commitments for the 2014 signing class from the state of Georgia.

Four of those pledges, linebacker Deshon Cooper, quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, offensive guard Tyler Jones and quarterback Elijah Staley made an appearance at Big Dawg camp.

Needless to say the quartet from two states away did a solid job and excited onlookers with their play in the one-on-ones.

Cooper looked especially athletic and while he considered not taking part in the camp, ended up working in a trio at times with Gerri Green and Keith Holcombe.

Fitzgerald and Staley were both quarterbacks of choice by some of the receivers. Fiztgerald spun the ball especially well on the throws that required a little more arm strength and Staley looked his best on the deeper throws that required a little more touch.


#8. Earning an offer


McComb quarterback Alex Woodall has dreamed about lining up behind center at Mississippi State and doing his best Chris Relf impersonation.

Woodall earned an offer from the Bulldogs after putting in some work at tight end during Big Dawg camp. Woodall is being recruited as athlete and may have the chance to play quarterback at some point, but that remains to be seen.

At this point, Woodall is in a bit of a holding pattern as he considers his options and a potential position change.


#9 Next in line?


North Pontotoc wide receiver Marcus Green left Mississippi State's June camp sessions hoping for an invitation to Big Dawg camp.

Green was eager to show the Bulldog coaching staff that he was able to compete against their top recruiting targets.

The fleet footed Green showed up at Big Dawg and was one of the stars of testing running a 4.31 forty yard dash and recording one of the top vertical jumps.

Green also ran away from his competition in the one-on-ones getting open time and time again.

Green clearly moved his standing from possible offer to probable offer.


#10 Underclassmen make a move


Running back David Ducre of Mandeville, Louisiana looked the part of an SEC prospect during the event. Ducre is the cousin of former Mississippi State running back Christian Ducre who accompanied David to the Bulldogs' June camp.

Mississippi State 2016 verbal pledge Jonathan Pollock made a return trip to Starkville after a solid showing in the June camp sessions. Pollock looked more comfortable at Big Dawg camp despite the step up in competition.

2016 road grader Eli Johnson from Lafayette had a nice showing and showed a real blue collar appeal. It is clear Johnson is serious about gaining instruction and getting better. He worked extremely hard during the camp.

Hoover, Alabama 2015 wide receiver Justin Johnson was one of the more impressive wideouts in attendance. The next morning the rising junior got offer number one when the Bulldogs made the call to his coach.

Murrah 2015 star Malik Dear was one of the fastest players on campus and he appears to have added some good weight and upper body strength since last season. Dear holds an early offer from Mississippi State and has said for some time that he would like to stay in state.

2015 defensive tackle Fletcher Adams has become a mainstay on the Mississippi State campus. Adams, the younger brother of current Bulldog defensive lineman Nelson Adams, attends every MSU event he can get to. He also holds an offer and the chance to join his brother, but is in no rush to decide.

Petal 2015 offensive lineman Javon Patterson was a standout in drills. Mississippi State appears to have made a move with Patterson and that early momentum can certainly get a nice boost should Patterson's cousin Jesse Jackson follow through on a commitment to Mississippi State.

Jamal Peters of Bassfield is one of the better prospects in the state of Mississippi for the 2015 signing class. Peters picked up an offer from the Bulldogs last month and made the return trip to town this month.

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