"(LaBrandon) is taking a trip to Illinois the 16th of December," said Coach Bennett," although I think that he is solid to Mississippi State. I think that Courtney and LaBrandon will both be at Mississippi State on the 20th of January."
According to Coach Bennett, "South Florida has been calling (LaBrandon) quite a bit. Illinois and, of course, Mississippi State have been calling. Vanderbilt has also been calling."
As for Courtney, Coach Bennett said, "Courtney is solid to Mississippi State. It's done! He's not taking any (official) visits that I know of. Courtney's doesn't want phone calls and he's not taking any calls. And I don't think it's going to change. When schools call me about Courtney, I tell them he's solid to Mississippi State. And most coaches say, 'I don't have any problem with that.' Most coaches who recruit our area are pretty professional about that."
In addition to Mississippi State, at least one other SEC school showed serious interest in Courtney prior to his early commitment to State.
"Florida was really wanting him after coming by to see him," said Coach Bennett. "Urban (Meyer) personally came by and really liked him. But Courtney wants to play in the I and Mississippi State is an I football team."
Both players started out the season playing extremely well, but, ironically, both suffered injuries in the third game of the season and were hindered by their injuries for the remainder of the year, especially Courtney.
"(Courtney) was hurt most of the year," said Coach Bennett. "The Tate game was his best game (Editor's Note: He had 300+ rushing yards in that game), then he got hurt the week after that and was never the same. He took a helmet on his ankle and then he strained a groin. And he could never get back (100%). He would run a quarter real hard, but he could never get back into the swing of things. And LaBrandon got hurt in the third game also. He strained his MCL on the first play of the game. So, he was out for awhile. And my son, who is our punter, was out for awhile with a strained MCL."
After those three injuries, his team wasn't the same. And it showed, especially late in the season.
"We got beat in the second round (of the playoffs)," said Coach Bennett. "And I feel like if we had had (them) healthy all year long I think we would be still be playing."
And after seeing two senior game tapes of both players, I concur with Coach Bennett 100%.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.