Steve Robertson/

Mississippi State signed the #25 class in the country this past Wednesday.

National Signing Day started out with a big bang when the Bulldogs learned that Willie Gay, arguably one of the best outside linebackers in the country, decided to stay home and play for the team he grew up watching. Gay went to Starkville high school and is considered the 12th best outside linebacker coming out in the country. Gay is an ideal size standing at 6’2” 220 pounds with elite speed, being able to run down any player on the field.

Gay was not the only in state player that Mississippi State kept home this recruiting season, they also kept Kylin Hill from Columbus, Mississippi. Hill should be an impact player from the first game of the season. “The ability Hill has to run through the tackles with speed and elusiveness makes the read option with him and Nick Fitzgerald dangerous. At 5’11” 205 pounds. Hill has great size to start along-side Aeris Williams for a great one two punch. Hill also has very good hands and will be an excellent weapon out of the backfield in the passing game” Coach Dan Mullen said excitingly about his future running back.

Junior college players coming in like safeties Brain Cole and Johnathan Abram should make an immediate impact for the secondary that had a lot of trouble last season. Brian Cole was the number one safety coming out of junior college where he attended East Mississippi and Johnathan Abram is the number two safety.

The offensive-line just got a lot bigger with players like Joshua Cooper who is 6’7” 360 pounds and Cordavien Suggs who is 6’5” 270 pounds makes the offensive line likely to have new found success in the near future.

When Coach Mullen was asked about his new big offensive line men he could only joke and say “Thank God we have tall quarterbacks that can see over their heads” in Nick Fitzgerald and Keytaon Thompson who both are 6’5”. Thompson came to State to learn under Dan Mullen, because he has produced star quarter-backs like Chris Leak and Tim Tebow, while he was at Florida and of course Dak Prescott and Nick Fitzgerald, who seemed to be really hitting his stride halfway through the season. Thompson also graduated high school from Landry-Walker early, so he could come up and practice with the team.

“Instead of Thompson going through national signing day; today he got to wake up at 5:00am so he could get to practice by 6:00am” Mullen said jokingly. Thompson is just starting to learn the offense and how to read different coverages during practices. Coming out of high school Thompson is used to winning, he won three state titles combined in basketball and football.

The one player that I think will have an immediate impact next season is the U.S. All American kicker Tucker Day. With the loss of Westin Graves who retired due to back surgery Tucker Day should be the day one starting kicker.

The surprise signing of the day in my eyes was Aaron Odom who flipped from going to the University Louisville to stay home and play for Mississippi State.

Noah Ellis is another player who could make an early impact for State on the D-line along-side junior college stand-out Chauncey Rivers who both received offers from Alabama.

The player that I am excited to see down the line is inside linebacker Tyler Dunning coming out of Saint Thomas Aquinas (FL). I was lucky enough to see Dunning play at Braden River two years ago in the playoffs. Linebackers like Dunning and Gay that signed with State should be amazing players down the line and should help our defense get back to being a top defense in the Southeastern Conference,

Mullen said that the Bulldog coaching staff does not always recruit based on if a player has 4 or 5 stars, but the trust that he has in their administration to find guys that fill their team needs. Mullen went on to say that he hopes to be getting a new contract soon to stay since he loves coaching here at Mississippi State and plans on being here many more years.

In my eyes our recruiting this season was excellent for having teams like Alabama, LSU, and Florida in the SEC with us. I am excited to see all the players who signed in the up coming years and for this team to improve under the guidance of Dan Mullen. At the end of the day, we finished as the 24th best recruiting class and can hopefully produce a top 25 team all of next season. 

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