MSU Recruiting Notebook

In just five days the Mississippi State Bulldogs will welcome the signing class of 2008. While the MSU staff has gained some commitments from some top flight prospects, closing the class out in style would be a welcomed event for Bulldog fans.

There are just two official visitors on the Mississippi State campus this weekend, Antonio Hoskins and LaMichael James.

Hoskins committed to the Bulldogs back during the season, while LaMichael visits as a verbal commitment to the University of Oregon.

With just two visitors on campus, one of which remains uncommitted to State, the Bulldog coaching staff can focus just about all of their time and effort on making sure James and his mother are both enjoying their trip.

James claims over 30 scholarship offers, and has made official visits to Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon and TCU.

The two-time All-State running back was undecided about making his official visit this weekend, but an in home visit with Sylvester Croom on Monday proved to be the stimulant needed to ensure a visit occurred.

LaMichael and his mother arrived in Starkville Friday night and the two plan to stay until sometime Sunday morning.

As the recruiting season got underway back during the spring, Bulldog fans were pleased to learn that former MSU assistant coach Craig Stump had produced two college prospects who had received offers from his former employer.

Fans wondered if the Bullies would aggressively pursue defensive end Marcus Malbrough and running back Albert Williams.

As it turns out MSU will not be signing either one of those prospects, but the Bulldogs expect to sign defensive end Shane McCardell who was a surprise visitor last weekend.

McCardell committed during his visit last weekend, but wanted to wait until he was able to notify the Baylor coaches of his intentions before going on the record publicly.

Shane is the first Texas product to commit to Mississippi State since Marcus Washington did so as part of the 2006 signing class.

Bulldog receivers' coach Pat Washington picked up a commitment from St. Paul's Episcopal's Louis Watson last weekend.

The commitment marked the first verbal commitment for Coach Washington since joining the staff a season ago.

Watson's commitment also means that every Bulldog staffer has recorded a verbal pledge towards the 2008 signing class with the exception of newly hired assistant Louis Campbell.

The 2008 signing class will roll into signing day with the overwhelming majority of the commitments only taking one official visit and that visit was to Mississippi State.

Last year commitments Wade Bonner, Dominic Douglas, Marcus Green and Co-Eric Riley all took official visits after making their verbal commitment to Mississippi State.

Jamariey Atterbetty, Lee Chambers and Ellis Lankster all took official visits after committing to play for State only to later sign with another school.

This season only Tobias Smith is on record as taking an official visit to another school after making his commitment to Mississippi State.

Speaking of Tobias, the talented offensive lineman did officially visit Baylor earlier this week and is currently on an official trip to Southern Miss.

Tobias has said repeatedly that he plans to sign with State and that Starkville is where he wants to be.

Come Sunday Tobias will be removed from the ranks of the soft verbal and listed as a solid commitment to Mississippi State.

Bulldog fans suffered some disappointment earlier this week when Hernando product Andre Wadley committed to the University of Auburn.

Two of the last three players from Hernando to sign with State, Kevin Dockery and Deljuan Robinson, are now in the NFL. Dockery and the New York Giants will play in this weekend's Super Bowl and Robinson is currently signed to the practice squad of the Houston Texans.

Despite committing to Auburn, Wadley has remained in contact with the Bulldog coaching staff. It appears that the MSU coaches are not giving up on signing Wadley. A change in Andre's situation is possible, but it does not appear likely at this time.

With the recent rash of in state commitments picked up by Southern Miss and newly hired Head Coach Larry Fedora, many Bulldog mans appear to have grown a little nervous about the prospects of Charles Mitchell signing with the Maroon and White on signing day.

On Thursday afternoon Charles denied rumors that had surfaced that suggested that he was bound for Hattiesburg.

USM picked up a commitment from the state's top player, DeAndre Brown, on Friday. While surprising, Brown's decision was not enough to convince long time friend Alonzo Lawrence to follow him to Southern Miss. Lawrence instead committed to Alabama.

Many of the other prospects joining Brown in Hattiesburg do not have the options Lawrence does or Charles Mitchell for that matter.

Mitchell did officially visit Southern Miss and he reported that he had a nice time and enjoyed getting to know the players there. Charles parents did not accompany him on his trip to the Hub City, but they did make the drive over to Starkville with Charles for his official visit back last month.

Many experts felt that Michigan was the Bulldogs biggest competition for Charles' signing day signature, but it appears now that the battle boils down to MSU and USM.

We will all find out Wednesday once and for all on Wednesday, but sources close to Charles expect him to put on a Maroon cap when he announces his decision.

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