By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
I never really know what to make of a team’s signing class. But because of man’s insatiable desire to rank everything under the sun, recruiting sites happily grade a school’s collection of high school football talent.
Nothing against the recruiting sites, who do a superb job of giving fans exactly what they want. And those guys, on the whole, are good at evaluating talent. Still, when you’re dealing with teenagers, any number of variables can render rankings moot.
You’ve got overachievers, underachievers, late bloomers, guys who simply won’t work, guys who flunk out, guys who get arrested too often. Hard to predict.
So, what do we make of Mississippi State’s 2013 signing class? The first thing that pops out is that the 21-man group is heavy on wide receivers. Six of ’em, which is good considering four seniors are leaving that group, and much of what returns has little experience and/or productivity under their collective belt.
His horrific Gator Bowl performance aside, quarterback Tyler Russell should be in line for a strong senior season. That’s assuming he has enough capable pass catchers, and a couple who could stretch the field would be a nice change of pace.
Of course, the offensive line play needs to improve. I don’t expect any of the three offensive linemen signed this year to contribute much if at all this fall.
1, You don’t see that many true freshmen in an O-line rotation.
2, Nearly everyone in MSU’s two-deep returns.
Down the line, though, those three newcomers could be really good SEC players. We don’t know that, of course, and once these guys are on campus, their star ratings don’t matter.
But if you must know, MSU’s class is ranked 22nd in the country by 247Sports.com. Rivals ranks it 25th, while Scout places it in a tie for 21st with Pitt.
MSU is no higher than ninth in the SEC according to those three services.
So, by those measures, this is a solid signing class. Not spectacular, but solid. Whether it becomes spectacular depends on all the aforementioned variables, and of course on how well the coaching staff develops and uses the talent.
This means we can’t truly judge this group right now. Doesn’t mean some of us won’t try.
Brad Locke (brad.locke@ journalinc.com) covers Mississippi State for the Daily Journal and blogs daily at DJournal.com.