Getting Out First

The Mississippi State 2015 signing class is off and running thanks in large part to a strong emphasis on junior recruiting and scouting during the 2013 season. The Bulldogs currently have nine verbal commitments, seven of which received their first offer from Mississippi State. Coach Dan Mullen and his staff have shown no hesitation to get out first.

In several cases, the Bulldogs have identified SEC prospects, offered them and then seen other programs within the conference follow suit.

Just looking at the current crop of prospects, over the course of the last few weeks four Mississippi State verbal pledges have picked up offers from other SEC programs.

Bruce High School standout Jay Johnson committed to Mississippi State and then saw a trio of programs extend offers to him including nearby Ole Miss.

Scout.com four star linebacker Tim Washington made his pledge to the Bulldogs back in November and then saw Ole Miss offer three months later.

Walnut safety Armani Linton committed to Mississippi State during a February junior day in Starkville and then picked up an offer from Hugh Freeze and his staff last week.

Bulldog linebacker commitment Darrien McNair added an offer from the home state Florida Gators last weekend.

While not currently a commitment to Mississippi State, Yazoo City defensive end Gabriel Campbell picked up an offer from the Bulldogs in early February.

Since that time, Ole Miss and Alabama have both followed suit with offers of their own.

Madison Central wide receiver Keenan Barnes picked up his ice breaking offer from Mississippi State and then picked up an offer from Ole Miss shortly thereafter.

The Bulldogs were the first to get in the boat with Brandon defensive tackle Fletcher Adams, but the bandwagon appears to be getting rather crowded now that Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU and Ole Miss have all taken a seat.

The 2015 class is not an anomaly, but the continuation of a trend.

Last year, Mississippi State was the first school to extend offers to Mississippi standouts D.K. Buford, Alfred Dickens, Jamoral Graham, Gerri Green, Jesse Jackson, C.J. Moore, Markell Pack, and Aeris Williams among others.

Perhaps one of the most talked about tales in recent years as the explosion on the recruiting scene of current Bulldog defensive lineman Chris Jones.

The eventual five star saw two schools stop by Houston High School during the spring of his junior year to inquire about him, Memphis and Mississippi State.

Jones committed to the Bulldogs during the June camp sessions only to add post season offers from Alabama, Florida and Ole Miss among others.

One of the first questions fans ask when recruits commit early, is about his offer list.

"Is he good enough?"

"Why so few offers.?"

One always wonders if their school is offering the right players, but it appears that many of Mississippi State's early decisions are being affirmed by the pursuit and subsequent offers from other programs within the conference.


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