It's that time of year, when the football recruiting season is in full gear and 2012 prospects draw even more focus than normal. Many of these young men visited campuses during spring football practices, and right now they're seeing coaches show up at their schools during this current evaluation period. Summer camps aren't far off, and prospects who haven't committed are drawing closer to a decision.
Rivals.com has released its annual list of the nation's top 250 recruits – the aptly named Rivals250 – and so I looked to see where MSU stands among members of that particular group. I received some very helpful insight from Rivals recruiting guru Paul Jones, so let's take a closer look at how much of a player the Bulldogs are with some of the country's best high schoolers.
Three Mississippians made the Rivals250, and MSU has extended an offer to all of them. Several other members of this elite group have gotten offers from State, but of course not all are seriously considering coming to Starkville. Paul helped me weed through it all and come up with a list of players who Dan Mullen has at least a decent shot of landing.
First, the in-state guys:
• QB Anthony Alford, Petal (No. 105) – Playing in U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
• DE Channing Ward, Aberdeen (No. 120) – Was named 2010 Daily Journal Defensive Player of the Year.
• DT Quay Evans, Morton (No. 169) – Scout.com ranks him as the top prospect in the state.
Now for some out-of-state guys for you to keep an eye on:
• RB Brian Kimbrow, Memphis (No. 80) – Only top-100 prospect showing serious interest in MSU.
• WR Drae Bowles, Jackson, Tenn. (No. 109) – Holds offers from six SEC schools.
• DE Dalvin Tomlinson, McDonough, Ga. (No. 129) – Made unofficial MSU visit this spring.
• RB Jovon Robinson, Memphis (No. 132) – Coming to MSU camp this summer.
• QB Chad Voytik, Cleveland, Tenn. (No. 153) – Told Rivals in April that his top three are MSU, Pitt and Vandy.
While these recruiting guys are good at what they do, the Rivals250 is obviously open for debate. Perhaps Evans should be higher. Perhaps Alford is too high. Perhaps Ward should be in the top 100.
It's all good fun, but such a list gives us a good idea of who to watch, especially those in-state guys. Y'all know how much Mullen values winning the in-state recruiting war, and no matter their ranking, the three listed above would be huge catches for MSU.
Mullen currently has two commitments, by the way: OL Devon Desper (Madison) and RB Deonte Evans (McComb). It's going to be interesting to see who else gives a pledge this summer.