Big Names and Big Dreams

The final push to signing day always seems to give undeclared recruits some added added heat. Players who commit early and stick with it, often lose their hype as their decisions are essentially forgotten by fans who are focused on who's next rather than who we have. Here is a look back at some of the top Mississippi State signees on signing day and how they performed on the field as Bulldogs.

Derek Pegues was the crown jewel of Sylvester Croom's 2005 signing class. The five star out of South Panola earned MVP honors at the U.S. Army All-American game prior to signing with Mississippi State over perceived favorite Ole Miss. Pegues became an immediate contributor in the Bulldog secondary playing some at corner before moving on to safety in the latter years of his Bulldog career. Pegues is best remembered for his 4th quarter punt return for a score against Ole Miss in the 2007 Egg Bowl that ended with a Bulldog win and brought down the curtain on the Ed Orgeron era at Ole Miss.

It seems like only yesterday, but it has been nine years since Anthony Dixon of Terry High bought into what Sylvester Croom and area recruiting Freddie Kitchens were selling. Dixon rewrote the Mississippi State record books for ball carriers and became one of this generations most beloved Dawgs. Now in the NFL, "our" Boobie Dixon, continues to represent Mississippi State and can be seen on the sidelines of Bulldog games in the fall when his schedule allows.

In 2007, long time Ole Miss verbal pledge Robert Elliott of Okolona made his long awaited flip to Mississippi State. The four star running back had flirted with the Bulldogs throughout the process and made his rumored change of direction official on signing day along with Bastrop defensive lineman LaMarcus Williams, who also defected from the Ole Miss class. Elliot should some flashes as an underclassmen, but his college career took an unfortunate turn after #2 suffered a devastating knee injury on a Saturday night at LSU. Elliot battled back and completed his career and was able to enjoy some bowl success under Coach Dan Mullen and his staff.

As the recruiting calendar winded down on the 2008 signing class, Clarskdale native Charles Mitchell announced his intentions of signing with Mississippi State over a late push from Michigan and Nebraska as well as a long courtship by Ole Miss. Mitchell was drafted by the Falcons in the 6th round were he spent two seasons before moving on and spending some time in the Denver Broncos organization. "C4" was an important part of the Bulldog secondary during his time at Mississippi State and was considered one of the top safeties in the Southeastern Conference as a junior and senior.

The 2009 signing class was filled with stars and is widely considered one of the top Bulldog recruiting hauls of all-time. With double digit members of that class going on to pro careers, these Dawgs have given the Mississippi State family plenty to be proud of. In a class the contained a 1st round pick in Fletcher Cox, a Thorpe Award winner in Johnthan Banks and a Pro Bowl selection in Darius Slay, it was Josh Boyd who was the most highly acclaimed on signing day. The U.S. Army All-American went on to a very productive career at Mississippi State seeing playing time as a true freshman. Boyd completed his college career as one of the top interior defensive lineman in the SEC and was drafted by the Green Bay Backers and just recently completed his second year in the rotation as a defensive tackle.

In 2010, Mississippi State added Damien Robinson late in the process, but to date Robinson has not had much of an impact in Starkville. Projected as the starter at right tackle last fall, Robinson suffered an ACL injury that cost him his season. The personable Robinson has applied for a medical hardship waiver, which would grant him a sixth year of eligibility. Bulldog fans had high hopes for Robinson who was ranked the #82 player in the country regardless of position out of high school. Robinson had offers from most school in the SEC and was considered a huge get for the Bulldogs on national signing day.

Joe Morrow was one of only two four star players in the 2011 signing class. Morrow joined Dee Arrington as the crown jewels in that class on signing day. Morrow had his best season as a Bulldog last fall. Morrow's 344 yards and four touchdowns were both career highs. Morrow has developed into a more dependable pass catcher as an upperclassmen and is expected to be one of Dak Prescott's top targets for the 2015 football season.

Quay Evans was one of the top defensive tackles in the country when he signed with Mississippi State as part of the 2012 signing class. The five star showed some flashes early in his career, but was eventually dismissed from the football program after a string of off the field indiscretions. Some have hinted at a potential comeback for the Morton, Mississippi product, but at this point that does not appear promising.

The meteoric rise of Houston Hilltopper Chris Jones was one for the ages. After just two schools stopped into inquire about Jones during the spring evaluation period, Jones worked his way into one of America's most talked about college football prospects, eventually earning a five star ranking. The talented defensive end stuck with his commitment to Mississippi State despite a late push from Alabama, Ole Miss and others.< Jones played as a true freshman and has been a productive member of David Turner's rotation on the defensive line. Jones is projected as one of the top defensive line prospects in the country for the 2016 NFL draft should he elect to forego his senior season at Mississippi State.

Gerri Green was the highest rated player in the Mississippi State 2014 signing class. After a redshirt year to allow him to completely recover from an ACL injury, Green was one of the highlights of bowl practices. Green projects as a major contributor in the Manny Diaz defense and is expected to be the next great Mississippi State linebacker.

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