Gene Swindoll -

A look at some of the top defensive backs in the Magnolia State.

The defensive back position is not necessarily about quantity in the 2018 class, but more of quality talent. Several Bulldog targets, and a few commits, have received big offers from schools nationwide. Today we will preview the Mississippians, and also drop a couple of interesting updates from Mississippi State commits and targets.

1. Esaias Furdge – Clarksdale HS – Furdge had an outstanding season this past year recording 44 tackles, 15 passes defended, and 9 interceptions, both among the best in the entire state. The Mississippi State commit decided to pull the trigger at the end of January over his pair of offers from Southern Miss and Memphis. Furdge recently visited Mississippi State for a junior day, which turned out to be a very successful visit. The talented defensive back maintains he is a solid commit to State.

2. Nero Nelson – Co-Lin CC – The speedy, quick-footed Bulldog commit had a nice first season in junior college corralling 22 catches, 326 yards, and 3 touchdowns. He also became a game-changer in special teams averaging 26.2 yards per punt return. Although Nelson had a stellar year on the offensive side of the ball for Co-Lin, the dynamic athlete could possibly see time on both offense and defense in Starkville. Nelson is currently on track to become an early enrollee for the Bulldogs.

3. Antonio Nelson – Coahoma CC – Originally a Florida Gator commit, Nelson made his way to Coahoma this past season where he earned First-Team All-American honors at the junior college level. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound defensive back simply dominated with 41 tackles, 5 passes defended, and 8 interceptions. As of now, the prized recruit holds offers from Mississippi State, Memphis, Southern Miss, and West Virginia. Nelson says he plans to visit Starkville “probably in the summer”, but also stated that Gainesville is a home away from home. When asked if Florida were to re-offer would that possibly produce a second commitment, Nelson responded “Yes sir I will if they offer.”

4. Jaylon Reed – Olive Branch HS – The 6-2, 170-pound corner is lockdown as they come. Last season Reed accumulated 66 total tackles and 6 pass deflections. Although he did not record any picks, opposing teams rarely tested Reed because of his dominant presence. The Olive Branch product has offers all across the country, but has a top ten consisting of Ole Miss, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oregon, Memphis, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Georgia, Mississippi State and Purdue. Mississippi State hosted Reed during a junior day earlier this year where Reed had a chance to talk to numerous coaches and catch up. As of now, everyone is on a level playing field according to Reed, but a decision will most likely come before the start of his senior season. Reed also stated distance will not play a factor in his decision.

5. Jemaurian Jones – Brookhaven HS – Last season Jones had 45 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 7 pass deflections. The coveted corner has a total of 14 offers as of now. The former Mississippi State Bulldog commit decided to re-open his recruitment a couple of weeks ago to explore more options and make sure Mississippi State is the right fit for himself. As of now, Jones does not have any particular schools he is really focusing on, although he did state that he will “most definitely” be considering Mississippi State still. 

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