Recruiting Update

Over the past couple of seasons, Mississippi State has brought in its share of out-of-state talent, especially when considering the Class of 2003. We'll take a look at several out-of-state players - and one in-state player - that MSU is showing strong interest in.

With assistant coaches such as Jim Tompkins hitting that trail hard as always, the Bulldogs inked several kids across the Mississippi state lines, including five from the state of Georgia.

Before we update a few out-of-state prospects, we take a quick glance at one of the top defensive backs in the Magnolia State.

Jamarca Sanford, 5-11 and 190, has helped South Panola climb atop the state rankings again as well as a perfect 8-0 start in 2003. Sanford currently plays linebacker for the Tigers but expects to move to cornerback or safety at the next level.

"Most people are recruiting me as a safety," said Sanford. "And really with my size and all, I prefer to play safety and stay there for college."

Sanford has an offer from Ole Miss with Mississippi State, Auburn and Tennessee showing major interest as well. Earlier this week, Sanford noted that Tennessee was his favorite but that the Vols had not offered as of yet.

Sanford did however speak of his interest in the Bulldogs.

"I like the defensive schemes they run at State," noted Sanford. "I know they are struggling right now, mainly because of how young they are. I'm not worried about that because regardless of age, they don't hold anybody back. I would look forward to that if I go there, getting a chance to play early."

Heading outside of the Mississippi high school ranks, we start with a pair of Georgia prospects – Jeremy Lomax of Lovejoy High School and Quentin Griffith of Rome High School.

Lomax, a 6-5 and 210-pound defensive end, has offers from Wisconsin, Indiana, Cincinnati, Georgia and N.C. State among many others. Lomax has already visited Virginia with plans on visiting Tennessee, Georgia, Louisville and N.C. State later in the year.

Lomax unofficially visited Mississippi State at the season opener versus Oregon.

"I like MSU and they are kinda close to home," said Lomax. "I visited them earlier this season and I really liked the coaches and players. I could see myself as a Bulldog in the future.

"Most (colleges) are recruiting me as a defensive end or linebacker. I feel like I may be a better end because I have played there my whole life. But it really doesn't matter to me because I could pick up the linebacker position okay."

Griffith, a 5-11 and 170-pound quarterback/defensive back, has offers from MSU, Middle Tennessee State and Navy with plans to officially visit the Bulldogs and Navy. Griffith also has expressed interest in Georgia and Auburn.

"I am going to wait until after the season to look at everybody and then commit," said Griffith. "The main reason I like Mississippi State is because of the attention they have showed me. I have talked with them a lot and like what I've heard. They are recruiting me as a cornerback along with most other recruiters."

Rounding out this solid group of future defensive stars is Reginald Powe from Murphy High School in Mobile, Ala. Powe, a monstrous 6-7 and 310-pound offensive lineman, has received offers from UAB and Southern Mississippi along with showing interest in MSU and Ole Miss.

Powe plans to officially visit the Bulldogs along with the other two in-state Division 1 universities.

"I really don't know when I will commit," said Powe. "But I am looking at everybody right now. I am really interested in MSU and USM. Mississippi State has shown a lot of interest in me and I like what I've seen about them. But I will just wait and see how it all turns out after the season, probably."

Paul Jones is a recruiting correspondent for Gene's Page. Paul, also a sports writer for the Columbus Commercial Dispatch, can be reached by email at

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