Chauncey Rivers was a highly coveted defensive line prospect out of Stephenson High School (GA) in the class of 2015. After signing on with the home state Bulldogs of Georgia, Rivers left Athens after one season. Looking to reboot his recruitment, Rivers enrolled at East Mississippi Community College to chase a possible NJCAA National Title and another Power 5 opportunity.
Rivers, along with nine other Bulldog targets, took an official visit last weekend as Mississippi State wrapped up their home slate of scheduled 2016 games.
"I really had a good visit," Rivers said. "It was great to go ever there and meet with Coach Bake (defensive line coach Brian Baker). He just sat down with me and told me what kind of plans he has for me as a man and as a player. He told me that he was going to help get better in all phases of life.
"It was great to sit down with Coach Dan Mullen. I had never met him before, so I was happy to meet him. He had a lot of good things to say about the program and about what they plan to do with me if I go there."
Rivers hails from Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Washington Redskins' standout Preston Smith is also an alum of SHS as well as Mississippi State. Despite some connections between the two programs, Rivers had never visited Starkville before.
"This was my first time ever going to Mississippi State," Rivers said. "I took a lot of trips when I was being recruited in high school, but I never made it over there. I liked it there. They have a nice campus, some nice dorms and some nice facilities. Considering this was my first time ever going there, I liked it. They have a lot to offer."
While Rivers was a newcomer to Starkville, he got the grand tour by someone who knows the town about as well as anyone, freshman defensive end Kobe Jones.
"Kobe went to Starkville High School, so he knows everything about the town," Rivers said. "We play the same position too. We play the same way. He had already seen me play, because he came to some of our games at East (Mississippi). I got to see some film on him too and we're a lot alike.
"I am glad he was my host, because he knows the things I want to know about the defense and the coaches and all of that. I liked spending time with him."
The Bulldogs appear to have taken a solid stride forward with Rivers, but the talented defensive lineman is not quite ready to name an overall leader until after he has completed his final coursework at EMCC.
"I don't have a top school right now, but Mississippi State is up there for sure," Rivers said. "I am still going to take some other visits and then be sure I graduate from junior college. That's really the most important thing to me right now.
"I am going to take a visit to Louisville in December, but I am not sure on the date. We are playing a bowl game, so I will have to go after that."
#3 East Mississippi will play in the Mississippi Bowl once again, the fourth appearance. This year the opposition is #13 Kilgore. It will be difficult for the Lions to leap frog their way to another National Title, but Rivers and his teammates are preparing hard just the same.
"There aren't many teams that really want to play us," Rivers said. "We are just going to get ready to go play in the bowl game and then see what happens. All we can do is great ready for Kilgore and win the bowl game."
Through 11 games, Rivers has recorded 36 tackles, seven and a half sacks and a forced fumble. For his efforts, Rivers was named to the NJCAA All-Region team. With a December graduation date pending, Rivers plans to make his decision just before the signing period open on December 14th.