Steve Robertson -

Bulldog Coach Satisfied with Eighth Recruiting Class

When the air cleared, so had the angst. Signing Day 2016 can be scored as another success for Dan Mullen and Bulldog football.

Mississippi State announced 13 new scholarship Bulldogs today, which added with the five mid-year recruits already enrolled fills up the available roster room for 2016. Wednesday afternoon, Mullen talked about the signing class in general but began with a breakdown of all the 13 spring signees.


“A good day for us today. I think coming into this year we knew we had a smaller recruiting class, only 13 guys signed today. But we didn’t have many seniors on last year’s team. So coming we kind of knew that would be a situation that this year’s group would be a little bit smaller. We’re excited about the guys.”


“Korey Charles, a great athlete out of Florida. You watch him, a dynamic player with the ball in his hands. He worked at camp at corner for us and did a great job there. We’ll look at starting him on the defensive side of the ball, but I guess I’ve been wrong with that stuff before and we usually find a good home for guys that are great high school football players on the field. I thought Gabe Myles would make a heck of a corner and he’s a pretty darned good wide receiver. And John Banks would be a pretty good wide receiver, he’s not a half-bad corner. So those things can kind of go back-and-forth for us.”


“Jamal Couch is coming in as a wide reliever for us. Obviously he’s 6-5, 215. With De’Runnya Wilson declaring for the draft it opened up only one wide receiver spot for us really on the roster to fill this year. And he fits that with his size. A very similar player. You look at him, he’s a guy on the offensive side of the ball that has got great skill, can go up over people and catch balls. He has good speed for a guy his size and is really just a tough matchup on anybody out there in space.”


“Cam Danztler is a guy we targeted very, very early as the top corner for us. If you look at his size, his length, he reminds me a lot of John Banks when John was in high school as a guy who has length, has great cover skills, was up at several camps with us this summer. So we got to see the ability he has out there on the field and the different ways that we’re going to need him to perform at the high level. So, really excited about him and what he brings to the table.”


“Greg Eiland, one of the top offensive linemen in Mississippi. Boy, he’s all of 6-7, he might be bigger. We’re going to have to watch, maybe get him a little helmet to wear or he’s going to have to duck walking in and out of doors around the building. We’re going to have to make some taller doors. But a great tackle body for us.”


“John Michael Hankerson, another athlete. Again, not sure if he’s going to pay receiver or corner for us moving forward. But, he’s a guy that we had in camp, we identified very early in camp. I’m pretty sure he won the 100-meter state championship in Mississippi; he’s also the 100-meter state champion in Indiana throughout his high school career. He’s from here in Mississippi, moved up to Indiana during his high school career. An explosive player on both sides of the football, the fasted player we had on campus all year in all of our camps. And you know, really excited to have him on board. And what he brings is a dynamic playmaker on both sides of the ball.”


“Kobe Jones, a guy that we’re thrilled to have, right here coming to play for his home town and representing everybody here in Starkville. I know that made everybody proud here in town and over at Starkville High School. But you look at Kobe, he is what our program is all about. The effort, the character, doing things the right way all the time. He’s a guy that we’re so excited about. What most attracted me to him is a guy who every time we had him in camp, even though he’s been here and they get all the stars and all that stuff, he’s always going to be one of if not the hardest working guy you’re going to see every single day in every single drill. As we get into recruiting we’re looking for work ethic, we’re looking for high character young men. He fits that for us.”


“Nero Nelson, a dynamic athlete again. A receiver, a DB, running back in high school, a quarterback,  does everything for his high school team at Simmons over in Hollandale. A guy who is really explosive. I guess you hear me say this all the time, a competitor, loves to compete. We had him in camp, you ask him to go play receiver he’s the first one in line; play corner he’s the first one in line; it doesn’t matter he wants to keep going, going, going, going and compete at everything that he does. So we’re thrilled to have him.”


“Dareuan Parker, you look at what he is, just a massive, massive guy at 6-5 and he’s all of that. 326 is probably conservative. But very, very athletic for a guy his size. I know in the Miss-Al game a lot of people said he was the top lineman in the Miss-Al game this year, when you talk to players. I mean a big, powerful guy. Could play tackle, could play guard.”


“Stewart Reese, the same deal. 6-5, 340, again those are probably a little conservative. I think we had him maybe 6-6, 365 mark. He’s a big, big man, but very athletic on his feet. Again, I think can play multiple positions, could play guard, could play tackle for us coming in here. We’ll see how he adjusts. But a great young man, high character, hard worker, and really excited to have him on board.”


“Jeffery Simmons, obviously a great football player. The top player in the state of Mississippi on most of your guys’ rankings. He’s the top player in my rankings, too! But thrilled to have him. And all the discussions we had during the recruiting of Jeffery is that he was #1 on our list, not just because of the talent he is out there on the field. But I’ve known Jeffrey now for about three years and you look at what he does in the classroom, you look at what he does in his community; you look at the effort he gives at everything the does and how he has developed. He’s a first-class young man and I see him potentially being the next Fletcher Cox, Kaleb Eulls, Pernell McPhee. When you start getting mentioned with those guys you’re talking about some of the top d-linemen ever to play here. I guess in Fletcher Cox one of the top d-linemen in all of football right now, is up there in that discussion. But I think he has that work ethic, that demeanor, that attitude that he’s a very, very special player.”


“Marquis Spencer out of Greenwood, we’re really excited about as a d-lineman, and I guess you can put the athlete tag on him. But he’s going to be a defensive end and outside linebacker for us, kind of an edge player coming outside. Very, very explosive, has great size, has great potential, I see him having the opportunity to make an immediate impact for us right away on the field.”


“Jordan Thomas, I’m going to tell you, I think people are going to be impressed when they see Jordan Thomas. At 6-6, 275 which is pretty accurate, at a tight end. In all our evaluations he’s more of a wide receiver than a tight end at 6-6, 275! So that’s a pretty tough matchup on the outside for people. Runs extremely well, great hands. And I think just his size and athleticism creates major mismatches for people out there on the field. He’s another guy I see making an immediate impact for us.”


“Erroll Thompson, a linebacker out of Florence, Ala. He was the number-one linebacker on our board right from day one. To get him on board, we’re excited. He is a violent hitter inside. I mean he’s an inside linebacker, he’s got size, he’s got pop, he’ll come hit you. And he can really run the football down.”


“So I’m really excited about those guys. We had six other guys join us mid-semester that are already on board. But as I said, a lot of people are asking today; I thought we’d probably sign 12, 13, 14 guys today would be the most we’d be able to sign just with such a small senior class we had. So I’m excited about all these guys that are coming in. I think we’ve got a great group of young men and I think it was a very, very successful day for us today.”

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