MSU is expected to sign Adam Carlson, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound kicker/punter from Gulfport HS in Gulfport, Mississippi, to a scholarship. According to his head coach, Joey D'Angelo, Adam has kicked field goals of 50 yards off the ground in practice. Also expected to walk on with a chance to earn a scholarship the following year is Meridian (MS) HS punter/kicker Andrew Gambrell (6-3, 195). Andrew, who punted for the first time this season, has a tremendous leg and has shown the ability to kick 60+ yards in the air. Due to excellent academics, look for him to earn significant academic scholarship money.
As for quarterbacks, State continues to battle tooth and nail for the signature of 6-foot-4.5, 238-pound Plantation (FL) HS quarterback Darrell Strong. Darrell is considering MSU, Auburn and Pittsburgh. Depending on what source you talk to, all three have a chance. MSU is still in the picture for the signature of Tucker (GA) HS quarterback D.T. McDowell, a former Nebraska commitment as well as 6-foot, 160-pound quarterback Michael Henig from Jefferson Davis HS in Montgomery, Alabama.
Always looking for offensive linemen, Mississippi State will sign three; Roland Terry, 6-7, 260, Lamar School, Jeffrey Farr, 6-4, 300, Pell City (AL) HS and OL Dio Herrera, 6-3, 305, Hollywood Christian (Hollywood, FL.). All three are solid prospects who have the luxury of redshirting their freshman year due to MSU's solid depth at offensive line.
MSU didn't have much luck finding the big running back that they were looking for, but may have found a big-time sleeper in Brandon Thornton, a 5-foot-10, 185-pounder from Homewood (AL) HS. Brandon has the balance, deceptive speed and determination of former MSU running back Dicenzo Miller. MSU could wind up signing another running back if they offer either of the two they brought in on the final January visit weekend; 5-foot-10, 190-pound DeMarcus Johnson of Banneker HS (College Park, GA) and 6-foot, 205-pound Jay Lucas of Redemptorist HS (Baton Rouge, LA).
At wide receiver, the Bulldogs may have found another sleeper in the person of Keon Humphries, a super fast 5-foot-11, 175-pounder from Lanier HS in Montgomery, Alabama. This was Keon's first year to play organized football. He gained almost 100 yards a game after being inserted in the lineup the third game of the season. MSU also has a commitment from Pickens County HS wide receiver Chris Lark, but Chris may have to wait and sign with MSU later due to academics.
Looking for a big tight end, MSU found their man in "Big Rob" Walker. Rob, who was recruited as a linebacker by MSU out of high school, grew into a 6-foot-4, 265-pound tight end while playing at Southwest Miss. CC the past two years. MSU is still in the picture with high school tight end Jeremy Jones, 6-foot-5, 285, West Jefferson (Harvey, LA) HS). Jeremy is a raw talent with a huge upside.
Defensive end and tackle are positions I'm sure MSU would like to sign a player or two, but based on current commitments, they may not have much success in doing that this recruiting season. Natchez (MS) HS tackle Anthony Strauder (6-5, 295) officially visited MSU and may still have them on his list despite being a soft verbal to Southern Miss. Right now, he's not talking, so there's no way to know what he is going to do. MSU is also waiting on another player, 6-foot-5, 220-pound defensive end Shawn Nelson from East Ascension HS in Gonzales, Louisiana. Shawn is deciding between MSU and Southern Miss.
With a new scheme that will use four linebackers, the new MSU staff hit the recruiting trail looking for several linebackers and were successful, landing three; 6-foot-3, 205-pound Titus Brown from Hillcrest (AL) HS, 6-foot-3, 210-pound Anthony Littlejohn from Engelwood HS (Jacksonville, FL) and 6-foot-1, 220-pound Damien Huren from Southwest Miss. CC. All three are very athletic. Titus and Anthony have the frames to grow into defensive ends if need be. A fourth linebacker, Jazz Johnson, committed to MSU, but will probably work on improving his academics before signing.
MSU continues to wait to see what 6-foot-2, 215-pound super fast linebacker Rory Johnson of Vicksburg HS decides to do. Rory is considered by most as one of the top two defensive prospects in the state of Mississippi this year. He would be a major addition to Coach Croom's first MSU recruiting class. My gut feeling is he will choose State when it is all said and done. MSU also brought in Edison HS (Miami, FL) linebacker Brouce Mompremier for an official visit the last weekend of January. I expect him to stick with his commitment and sign with Kansas on signing day. Although he is still looking at MSU, it wouldn't surprise me if 6-foot-3, 217-pound Renuel Green of East Mississippi CC signs with Memphis.
Looking for cornerbacks and safeties, MSU did well in that department if you add in current commitments and possible surprises. South Panola HS's Mario Bobo, a very fast defensive back with nice size, committed to MSU, as did Mays HS defensive back Demon Glanton, a 6-foot-1, 180-pounder. 5-foot-11, 175-pound athlete Kenneth McClellan from Booker T. Washington in Tulsa, Oklahoma has also committed to MSU. He could play a number of positions, including DB or RB. If he signs with MSU - and it looks doubtful at this time - Trinity Episcopal School's Dudley Guice, a player that committed to MSU a while back, is expected to play safety. Dudley is doubtful because he wants to play wide receiver in college. Clarksdale HS's Fred Akines, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound safety, told me he will sign with MSU after he makes a qualifying ACT score. There could be two or three nice surprises at defensive back on signing day.
Signing day is Wednesday.
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.