With the head coaching carousel having left Mississippi State unscathed for a seventh year, Dan Mullen continues the recruiting campaign. The NCAA’s signing period for mid-year transfers or early prep enrollments begins December 16 and runs through January 15. The regular signing period is February 3-April 1 for football.
It’s been a hectic stretch for Bulldog football since exiting Scott Field last Saturday evening. After the regular meeting at the end of the regular schedule Sunday, the on-field coaching staff scattered for recruiting. Bowl camp schedules are also being set, dates to be finalized when the game itself is announced.
Mullen also detoured to Jackson Tuesday to see quarterback Dak Prescott presented the trophy given Mississippi’s top college football player, for a second-straight year. Then it was back on the recruiting trail, while the dust of coaching-move speculation settles with Mullen remaining in charge at Mississippi State.
At this point a few of his 2016 assistants are being linked to openings at smaller or lower-Division programs but nothing has happened yet. This is something Mullen has gotten used to of course after plenty of staff shuffles over seven winters here.
Now, as to the recruiting outlook for this winter? It has been recognized since last spring this would be a smaller signing class than usual. Only 15 Dogs were recognized on Senior Night and a couple of those began as walk-ons.
Even if two and possibly three underclassmen opt to leave for professional football—the filing deadline is January 18 and the list will be released by the NFL on January 22—this still does not leave lots of roster room for new signees. Mullen has also said all along, this would be a junior-heavy roster and it still is. There were 26 scholarship-signed juniors who reported to August camp, and several juniors who have been put on scholarship since walking on.
But that same August roster showed just nine sophomores, and two of them have left already. As it turned out two of the ’15 jucos signed, Traver Jung and Martinas Rankin, did not play so they count again as juniors for 2016. Still it will be a tiny junior class unless Mullen brings in a bunch of juco transfers who play immediately. Indications now are at least four transfers are being sought though that number also appears to be increasing, especially with a now-blatant need for more offensive linemen of all types.
To get an idea of how the 2015, and tentative 2016 roster, developed as it has, here is Mullen’s complete recruiting list of 2009-15.
These yearly lists are compiled from the signing day handouts, as well as later additions through summer. Included are recruits who never set foot on campus or left before ever playing. An asterisk marks signees who played as true freshmen or juco transfers. All transfers are designated with ‘jc’.
In a few cases—Cedric Jiles, Nick James, Damian Williams—those were later redshirted for different reasons. State has also redshirted some junior college signees, offensive linemen such as Jocquell Johnson and now Martinas Rankin.
2009 – 28 total, 6 JC, 6 freshmen played: *S/CB Johnthan Banks, *WR Leon Berry jc, *DT Josh Boyd, *KS Sean Brauchle jc, *WR Chad Bumphis, RB Montrell Conner, *DT Fletcher Cox, WR Billy Hamilton, *WR Brandon Heavens, WR Mardrecas Hood, *KS Heath Hutchins jc, OL Gabe Jackson, *DB Maurice Langston jc, LB Cameron Lawrence, DL Jonathan McKenzie, *DE Pernell McPhee jc, RB LaDarius Perkins, QB Tyler Russell, WR Ricco Sanders, FB William Shumpert, LB Deontae Skinner, DB Darius Slay, *WR Chris Smith, P Baker Swedenburg, RB Dennis Thames, OL Sam Watts, *LB Chris White jc, DB Nickoe Whitley
2010—26 total, 3 JC, 3 freshmen played: *RB Vick Ballard jc, LB Ferlando Bohanna, DL James Carmon jc, *LB Michael Carr, OL Blaine Clausell, DL Paul Crawford, OL Dillon Day, DL Kaleb Eulls, QB Dylan Favre, RB Nick Griffin, *DE Corvell Harrison, TE Brandon Hill, LB Christian Holmes, OL Jeff Howie, jc, *LB Chris Hughes, DB Jay Hughes, WR Malcolm Johnson, WR Robert Johnson, OL Eric Lawson, ATH Jeremy Lee, WR Jameon Lewis, DB Jamerson Love, OL Archie Muniz, OL Damien Robinson, DL Curtis Virges, DB Matthew Wells
2011—22 total, 2 JC, 3 freshmen played: *S Dee Arrington, CB Taveze Calhoun, DB Justin Cox, WR Devin Fosselman, DL John Harris, DB Zach Jackson, *DT P.J. Jones, OL Daniel Knox, OL James Maiden, OL Justin Malone, DB Kendrick Market, LB Benardrick McKinney, RB Derrick Milton, WR Joe Morrow, RB Shaquille Perry, QB Dak Prescott, OL Nick Redmond, RB Josh Robinson, *DB Darrius Slay jc, *DE Preston Smith, OL Joey Trapp jc, TE Rufus Warren
2012—28 total, 3 JC, 5 freshmen played: DL Nelson Adams, DB Quadry Antoine, *DE Denico Autry jc, *K Devon Bell, LB Beniquez Brown, WR Fred Brown, LB Richie Brown, *DL Ryan Brown, OL Cole Carter, DB Kivon Coman, DT Torrey Dale, OL Devon Desper, DB Deontay Evans, *DT Quay Evans, DB Xavier Grindle, OL Dylan Holley jc, WR Brandon Holloway, *DT Nick James, DL A.J. Jefferson, *CB Cedric Jiles, TE Adarrius Perkins, DB Will Redmond, TE Artimas Samuel, QB Nick Schuessler, OL Justin Senior, *OL Charles Siddoway jc, TE Gus Walley, DL Jordan Washington
2013—20 total, 2 JC, 7 freshmen played: *WR Jeremy Chappelle jc, WR Shelby Christy, *OG Jamaal Clayborn, *CB Tolando Cleveland, *DB Justin Cox jc, OL Kent Flowers, WR Donald Gray, WR B.J. Hammond, LB Dezmond Harris, DB Jahmere Irvin-Sills, *DT Chris Jones, CB Gabe Myles, *WR Fred Ross, TE Artimas Samuel, QB Cord Sandberg, *RB Ashton Shumpert, OL Jake Thomas, DB Brandon Wells, *QB Damian Williams, *WR De’Runnya Wilson
2014—23 total, 3 JC, 3 freshmen played: DB Brandon Bryant, OL Deion Calhoun, OL Ronald Cochran, DL Will Coleman jc, *Logan Cooke, LB Deshon Cooper, RB Lashard Durr, QB Nick Fitzgerald, *WR Jamoral Graham, *LB J.T. Gray, LB Gerri Green, DT Grant Harris, OL Jordan Harris, DT Braxton Hoyett, *TE Darrion Hutcherson jc, WR Jesse Jackson, OL Elgton Jenkins, OL Jocquell Johnson jc, RB Dontavian Lee, CB Chris Rayford, QB Elijah Staley, DT Cory Thomas, RB Aeris Williams
2015—28 total, 4 JC, 4 freshmen played: DL Fletcher Adams, *DE Johnathan Calvin jc, *RB Malik Dear, RB Nick Gibson, *WR Donald Gray jc, WR Farrod Green, *TE Justin Johnson, TE Dontea Jones, DL Kendell Jones, DL Keith Joseph, LB Traver Jung jc, LB Leo Lewis, *DB Mark McLaurin, RB Keith Mixon, OL Harrison Moon, DL T.D. Moton, DL Anfernee Mullins, RB Alec Murphy, *DB Jamal Peters, DT Martinas Rankin jc, DB Maurice Smitherman, WR Jonnas Spivey, DB Chris Stamps, OL Michael Story, WR Deddrick Thomas, QB Nick Tiano, LB Tim Washington, OL Darryl Williams.