Mississippi State 2018 verbal Marcus Murphy has West Point in the state title hunt.

Mississippi State is still looking to secure the final pieces of their 2017 signing class, but the Bulldogs are already off to a head start on 2018. With pledges from a pair of the state's top juniors, Coach Dan Mullen and his staff are sitting pretty. The early pledge from West Point star Marcus Murphy is one that many in the state took note of.

West Point is expected to contend for the 5A state title. One of the key reasons why is the play of offensive stand out Marcus Murphy. In last weekend's Jamboree, Murphy lined up at quarterback, receiver and even dotted the Maryland I formation as the tailback. 

The Green Wave won a toughly contested game against Callaway, but late in the game it was West Point salting the clock away with a solid win against a quality opponent.

"I feel like we performed pretty good," Murphy said. "We are working hard and building some good chemistry. We just need to keep pushing and I think we will be okay."

Murphy never knows from one play to the next where he will line up in the West Point offense, but the variety of things keeps the talented junior fresh and opposing offenses guessing.

"I love it," Murphy said. "When (Clayton) Knight came in, we opened up the whole offense. Coach (Brett) Morgan was able to call whatever he wanted to call. We can have some different play calling now even when we get in bad situations."

As sophomores, the West Point class of 2018 paid their dues and got better as the season went along. After opening up district play with a loss, the Green Wave won eight straight before falling in the third round of the playoffs. Murphy believes this season could be even better.

"We learned about leadership," Murphy said. "I learned a lot of that from Scott (Lashley) and a lot of others. I feel like now it's my turn to lead the team. I feel like we can be great this year. We just have to stick together and keep working together. We have to listen to Coach Morgan and learn from him. We can't be selfish. If we put the team first, then we can have a great team.

"I feel like we can be a dominant team. We are a smaller team, but when we play our best, size doesn't mean anything."

Murphy committed to nearby Mississippi State a few months back. Since making that decision, the West Point star reports that his bonds with the Bulldogs have only grown stronger.

"Things are going good between me and Mississippi State," Murphy said. "I have a great relationship with all of the coaches. Playing here (at Davis Wade Stadium) I felt at home again. Coach (John) Hevesy is my recruiting coach and we talk every once in a while. He will hit me up on Twitter and ask me how practice is going and how workouts are going."

The Bulldogs' recruiting efforts are aided by the social media prowess of 2017 verbal Kylin Hill of Columbus. Shortly after committing to Mississippi State, Hill went to work recruiting and offered some positive comments about Dan Mullen's team to Murphy.

"We have a great relationship," Murphy said of Hill. "I look up to Kylin. I feel like if we go to Mississippi State together that we will be a two-headed monster."

West Point will begin the regular season Friday night as they host the Wildcats of Louisville. Last season, the Green Wave trounced Louisville 46-7, but LHS looks to be an improved team this fall. 

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