MSU Class of 2009: Final Notebook

The process began with hundreds of names, countless hours of highlight tape and 25 fresh scholarship slots to fill. The fax machines have stopped chirping, the ink is now dry and the crowing about who did what is already in full effect. Mississippi State signed their first top 20 class since 2003 on yesterday. Expectations are high for this group because of their previous accomplishments.

In state recruiting was a priority for Sylvester Croom and his successor Dan Mullen. The Bulldogs nabbed the lion's share of the state's top talent.

One of the higlights of the summer is the announcement of the Clarion Ledger's Dandy Dozen list.

The Bulldogs inked six of this year's dozen. Chad Bumphis, Josh Boyd, Fletcher Cox, Cameron Lawrence, Tyler Russell and Dennis Thames all made the list.

State signed 21 High school players, 16 of those players were named All-State including 13 1st team selections.

MSU rounded out the class with six junior college standouts. Five of those players were named All-American, four of them garnering 1st team honors. The lone junior college selection not be named All-American, Maurice Langston, was an All-Region and All-State selection. He also led the nation with 21 touchdowns scored this season.

Speaking of All-Americans, four of the high schoolers earned berths in All-American bowl games or made All-American lists.

Josh Boyd played in the U.S. Army All-American Game, Montrell Conner played in the Under Armour All-American game, Chad Bumphis played in the Offense/Defense All-American Bowl and Tyler Russell was named Parade All-American Quarterback.

Russell was also the Gatorade Player of the Year. Tyler is the third consecutive Mississippi State signee to be awared this honor. Nine other Bulldogs have been Mississippi's Gatorade Player of the Year including six of the last ten selections.

Tyler was also the starter for team Mississippi in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star game. Eight other Bulldogs joined him in that contest.

Cameron Lawrence and Jonathan McKenzie played in the MPSA All-Star game with McKenzie earning defensive MVP honors for the north squad.

Of the 21 high school signees, 15 of them will represent their home state. Two other signees call Alabama home, two from Georgia, one from Louisiana and one from South Carolina.

Of the out of staters, both Darius Slay and Sam Watts earned All-State recognition this year in Georgia.

Montrell Conner was 1st team All-Stater in his home state of Louisiana.

Ricco Sanders was an All-State selection as a junior as well as a state champion.

On signing day 47 Missisisppi High Schoolers signed a division one scholarship. 31 of those players earned three star ranking or better.

Mississippi State signed 13 of those 31 players including four of the state's top six players who earned a rank of four stars or better, Fletcher Cox, Tyler Russell, Josh Boyd and Chad Bumphis.

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