Recruiting update

Several recruiting publications have noted that the football talent in Mississippi may be slightly down from years past. But they also pay tribute to an outstanding class of juniors that will have the entire nation buzzing about the Class of 2005 from the Magnolia State.<P> The same can be said in the prep basketball ranks in Mississippi, with several talented juniors that are beginning to start a long recruiting process.

A couple of talented juniors hail from Meridian High School in center Cyrus McGowan and guard Jocody Davis.

McGowan, 6-foot-9 and 235 pounds, is currently averaging 10.9 points and 15.5 rebounds for Meridian, currently ranked eighth in the state by the Associated Press.

McGowan has been invited to participate in the ABCD Adidas camp this summer in New Jersey where he will battle with the Top 150 players in the country. McGowan has already been offered by LSU with MSU, Texas, Arkansas and Connecticut in his current Top 5. He also has plans to attend the LSU and MSU summer camps.

"As long as I get a chance to prove myself and play, I don't care if it is in this state or out-of-state," said McGowan. "I am just going to work on my game this summer against some of the best in the nation, and then see how recruiting works out later on.

"I know that Mississippi State has really improved its talent, and have a lot of those type players. They also have some good guys coming in this season, too. And I figure by the time I would be up there, if I decide on State, then I should be able to fit in nicely with that team."

Davis, 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, leads Meridian in scoring with 19 points a contest, may be a late sleeper in the recruiting circuit. Davis has received attention from South Alabama among other schools.

"I really haven't given it much thought, or about staying close to home or going off somewhere farther," said Davis. "I really like a wide-open offense, one that is up tempo. I like the offensive style that MSU has. I am just looking for good coaches and a good program at the next level."

Joining McGowan this summer in New Jersey will be Jarvis Hill of Starkville. The 6-2 and 190-pound shooting guard may also opt to play in the Big Time Tournament in Las Vegas during his hectic AAU summer slate.

"Tennessee is probably my main out-of-state choice right now," said Hill, averaging 17.5 points. "I like their offensive style and they like to pour in the points. But I am going to look at all my options for college and take the long process of deciding a school.

"I still have to get stronger and more aggressive on the floor. I feel comfortable playing the one or two guard but I have to improve my game every day."

Along with Tennessee, Hill also has the Bulldogs, North Carolina State and Florida among his favorites.

"Going in as a freshman, I hope to be able to play right away in a great atmosphere," noted Hill. "It is a good advantage with Mississippi State so close to home. My family and people I grew up with can still see me play and all. Plus, I like the way the Bulldogs play basketball, getting it up and down the court in a hurry."

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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