Bulldogs: Coaching departures put class in flux

By Brad Locke / NEMS Daily Journal

With National Signing Day less than four weeks away, Mississippi State’s 2011 class is in a state of flux.
The loss of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz to Texas last week led to four-star linebacker C.J. Johnson reneging on his commitment to MSU.
Another four-star guy, receiver Nickolas Brassell, remains what Scout.com calls a “soft verbal,” because he’s waffled on his commitment and has scheduled a Jan. 21 official visit to Ole Miss (he’ll visit MSU the week before).
On Saturday, the Bulldogs lost out on four-star receiver Tobias Singleton, who announced during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl that he was going to Ole Miss over MSU and UCLA.
However, Singleton still has visits set for MSU and Miami.
So, in other words, this is just your typical football recruiting season. By the time signing day – Feb. 2 – rolls around, much more could change. MSU coach Dan Mullen’s task is to make sure the players he’s after aren’t hoodwinked.
Or, as he put it on the “First Call” radio show last week, “You hope that these guys, they don’t fall for a fast line at the last second.”
Mullen did well with his first two recruiting classes, and this one is currently ranked 27th in the country (10th in the SEC) by Scout.com, 33rd by Rivals.com.
Prior to Johnson’s change of heart, State was tied for 17th in the country in Scout’s rankings. The Philadelphia product is still strongly considering the Bulldogs, and the promotion of Chris Wilson to defensive coordinator has eased his mind, according to reports.
Brassell, from South Panola, already has a high school teammate, safety Kendrick Market, committed to MSU.
In all, State has 23 commitments, and four of them are already on campus as early enrollees. Junior college transfer Joey Trapp, an offensive lineman, signed in December. The other three are high schoolers: defensive end Josh Harris (Boynton Beach, Fla.), quarterback Dak Prescott (Haughton, La.) and offensive lineman Nick Redmond (Harrison Central).
“It’s great to have them here for the offseason program and spring practices, and it will help their development and their chances to contribute this fall,” Mullen said in an press release. “This is a great start to what we anticipate being an outstanding signing class in 2011.”
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571
or brad.locke@journalinc.com.