By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Preseason camp is less than a week away for Mississippi State, which is hoping to build off coach Dan Mullen’s strong first season.
But it must be hard for Mullen not to look forward to who he’ll have coming in this time next year.
Mullen doubled his 2011 recruiting class last weekend, with seven prospects making pledges to play for the Bulldogs. That haul shot MSU up the recruiting rankings, from 40th in the country to 18th (sixth in the SEC), according to Scout.com.
Among the latest additions are four-star prospects Joe Morrow, a receiver from Ocean Springs, and Darion Arrington, an athlete from Stone County.
MSU now has four commitments with a four-star rating. The entire 26-man class of 2010 had just three such players and was ranked 38th in the country (10th in the SEC).
Six of the 2011 players have three-star ratings.
With the Feb. 2 signing day still more than six months away, Mullen isn’t too worried about numbers this early in the recruiting game.
“The number of commitments at this point, higher or lower, I don’t know if there’s a number that you want to have for us,” he said two weeks ago. “I know there’s a number we want to have in February when they’re signing a letter of intent, that’s what’s most important.”
Mullen has kept his promise to mine the in-state talent. Of the 14 commitments, 11 are from Mississippi. The other three hail from talent-rich Louisiana, including three-star athlete Devante Scott.
There’s a good bit of variety among the group: Four of the commitments could be classified as “athletes,” while there are three offensive linemen, two receivers, a quarterback, a running back, a tight end, an inside linebacker and a safety.
There are still plenty of big fish to be snagged by MSU, like Athens, Ala., quarterback Stephen Rivers, who stands 6-foot-6 and is the brother of San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers.
Scout.com says MSU is “high” on Rivers’ list. Landing him would definitely make this 2011 class something worth anticipating.
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571