Tis The Season....

The calendar shows that there are less than two weeks until national signing day. College coaches are filling out their classes, players are sifting through their final options and fans are preparing to greet their newest class of reinforcements. As the final days wind down, fans will trust and hope that any news about potential "flips" all fall in their team's favor.

Mississippi State has been on both ends of the spectrum when it comes to the signing day defection. Bulldog fans need not be reminded of the frustration and angst that goes along with a reversal of fax machine fortunes as one of their favorite recruits elects to sign with another program.

Despite a relatively quiet January, some Bulldog fans are still a bit anxious about what might come to be between now and Dan Mullen's signing day press conference.

Mississippi State has a trio of verbal commitments that fans are more than a little concerned about when it comes to the potential for an 11th hour change of heart.

Bassfield All-American safety Jamal Peters committed to the Bulldogs as part of a historic Big Dawg camp that saw several of the top Maroon and White targets pledge their college allegiance to Dan Mullen and his staff.

Peters has remained committed to the Bulldogs throughout the process, but has had some flirtations with the LSU Tigers. Coach Les Miles and some of his staff were recently in Jefferson Davis county to meet with Peters and his mother. The Tigers had invited Peters to officially visit Baton Rouge January 30th, but it appears that the four star standout will visit Mississippi State that weekend instead.

If the Tigers are to get a visit, then chances are it would have to come this weekend, the weekend that Ole Miss had hoped to get him to Oxford as part of the Rebels' big recruiting weekend.

The Bulldog hope is that Peters elects to stay home in Bassfield and that his only official visit is to Starkville next weekend. A quiet weekend would certain do wonders for the Bulldog fans' collective psyche.

Another Bulldog verbal who had agreed to some visits is Fletcher Adams of Brandon, Mississippi. Adams comes from a long line of athletes and grew up with a Bulldog fan as a father. The Adams' family is proud to claim Mississippi State defensive tackle Nelson Adams as one of their own.

The family Adams was in Starkville last weekend and from all accounts the weekend was a huge success. While Adams reports that the weekend helped him feel even better about his decision, he stopped short of canceling a scheduled visit to Oxford and Ole Miss.

A trip to Georgia at the end of the month appears iffy at best, but a trip to Ole Miss this weekend would be a real concern for those who cheer for the Bulldogs. While all connected with the family report that Adams plans to sign with Mississippi State in two weeks, all concerned would sleep better this weekend knowing that the four star Semper Fi All-American was at home in his bed rather than a hotel room in Oxford, Mississippi.

Long time verbal linebacker Darrien McNair took an official visit to Kentucky last weekend and was set to visit Mississippi State this weekend. That visit has now been pushed back to next weekend, which opens the door for McNair to take a visit to Louisville.

McNair has stuck with the Bulldogs throughout the process even turning down an offer from the home state Florida Gators, but as the official visit invitations have been extended, McNair has been willing to travel.

With Manny Diaz taking over as the new defensive coordinator and linebacker coach in Starkville, McNair's relationship with former Bulldog defensive boss, Geoff Collins, has been for all intents and purposes terminated. The Ocala, Florida native is having to get to know a new position coach and as a result he is exploring all of his available options for college.

While the Bulldogs are having to continue to recruit hard to keep their catch in the boat, they are also looking to give some other programs a case of the signing day blues. A handful of prospects committed to other programs are giving the Bulldogs a second look.

Louisville commitment Lamar Jackson is scheduled to visit Mississippi State this weekend, just a few days removed from a trip to see Bobby Petrino and the staff at Louisville. While Jackson left the Cards feeling good about his pledge, he was not persuaded to cancel upcoming trips to Mississippi State and Florida. If Jackson is to play quarterback, one would think the Dan Mullen scheme would fit his skill set much better than the pocket passing offenses in Louisville and Gainesville. Jackson is also athletic enough to play several positions should a team need arise.

Former Mississippi State commitment Armani Linton of Walnut flipped his commitment to Ole Miss during the summer, but has been receptive to recent Bulldog advances. Linton remains committed to Ole Miss, but has talked about a potential official visit to Starkville before closing out his recruitment on national signing day. Linton is expected to visit Oxford this weekend, so one would expect the Rebel coaching staff to pull out all of the stops to ensure Linton's last visit is the one he takes this weekend.

Perhaps the one name most discussed in Mississippi recruiting circles is Brookhaven linebacker Leo Lewis. Lewis' recruitment has been anything, but predictable. Lewis said for weeks that he was in no hurry to make a decision and then pledged to Alabama out of the blue.

At Mississippi State's Big Dawg camp, Lewis announced that he was backing off of his earlier decision. While it appeared Mississippi State had some real momentum, Lewis said he planned to take his time and make a well thought out decision after taking some time to go through the recruiting process.

Within hours of Mississippi State knocking off Auburn and rising to #1 in the National Polls, Lewis suddenly committed to Ole Miss.

Despite his commitment to the Rebels, Lewis spent plenty of time at Mississippi State during the season with good friend and Mississippi State commitment Farrod Green. The pair reunited last weekend in Starkville for their official visits with the Bulldogs.

The word behind the scenes is that Mississippi State has made up a lot of ground, so anything is possible at this point. One thing is for sure, it will be an exciting ride the rest of the way.

Chances are that Mississippi State holds on to who they have and adds a couple more names to an impressive haul that currently ranks 14th nationally. Will they be able to pick off one or two from other programs as they head into the home stretch? Time will tell, but if recent history has taught us anything it is that anything is possible.


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